Tech Refresh: Take a Deep Breath and Renew

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Everything deserves a fresh start. Here are some tech refresh strategies to improve your digital security, productivity, and organization.

1. Take inventory of your valuables.

A good way to start your tech refresh is to take inventory.

Making a list of what you own can be a lifesaver in the event of a disaster or break-in. The last thing you want to do is scramble for receipts or wrack your brains for an insurance claim.

Your belongings can be cataloged by walking around the house with a notebook. In addition, there are plenty of apps that can help you now. Further, you can also ask your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company for advice.

Taking inventory saves you time and money if you ever have to make a claim. It also lets you know what you have and what you need. Sometimes we don’t remember that we have a thing. Taking inventory gives us a solid place to stand when it’s time to purchase new equipment.

2. Refresh your home network security.

Is your home network secure? Are you sure? The home network is often a cybersecurity weak spot.

Therefore, check your passwords. Never use the default username and password on your network or anywhere else, for that matter. Even if you changed it years ago, it may be time to update to something safer. Cybersecurity is a growing challenge, especially in home networks. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your network is up to date and secure.

Can’t remember all those long, random passwords? The safest option is a digital password manager. However, password notebooks work too. Furthermore, keep yours hidden from prying eyes.

Next, update your router’s firmware. This is a tech refresh must.

Updates often contain critical security updates. Go to the Admin page of your router. You’ll need your router’s IP address and admin password (found in the user manual).

  • Find Advanced or Management in the admin panel. Firmware upgrades are here.
  • Updates may be downloaded. In addition, turn on automatic updates in your router’s settings if you have them.
  • Furthermore, make sure your wireless encryption is WPA2 or WPA3. While you’re at it, test your firewall.

3. Reclaim your inbox.

Do you keep your inbox empty? Or do you open it to find an onslaught of unread messages?

Instead of manually cleaning up, automate the process. You may search for emails by category, content, attachment size, and more.

Go to the search bar in your email via your web browser. Think about all the emails you no longer wish to receive. In the search bar, type in the email. Now you may quickly erase them all.

Additionally, select all conversations in Gmail. It’s a checkbox that you can click on. Then hit Trash to delete them all.

4. Restart your browser as a tech refresh for your computer.

We spend the most time online in our browsers. To refresh, start by clearing the cache. After that, you will need to re-enter your login information.

Clearing and refreshing your browser also helps with security. In addition, you might go through the list of websites you frequent.

Change your passwords. Update them to more secure passwords. In addition, you may consider a password generator. With increasing web traffic and possible cyberattack, it pays to be extra careful with your information.

  • To clean up your computer in Chrome, click the three-dot menu. Select More Tools > Clear Browsing Data. A new page will open. Choose a timeframe from 1 hour to all time. To finish, select Clear Data.
  • In Firefox, select History from the three-line menu in the top right. Choose Clear Recent History and a timeframe. OK to finish.
  • For Microsoft Edge, select the three-dot menu in the upper right corner, then Settings > Privacy, Search, and Services. Select what to clear from Clear browsing data. Select a timeframe, then select Clear Now.
  • In Safari, open a browser window and select Safari from the top toolbar, then select a timeframe. After that, select Clear History.

5. Wipe down your tech.

Your electronics attract dust, filth, grease, and pathogens. Make sure you properly clean your screens, mouse, keyboard, and printer.

In addition, consider your gadgets’ ports. Metal knives and safety pins can scrape and swabs can leave fluff and lint. Toothpicks should be avoided as well. Instead, use dental floss plastic picks or foam cleansers.

In addition, make sure you clean your earbuds. They can become crusty, so be cautious cleaning around the speakers.

Further, clean your AirPods, Galaxy Buds, or other wireless earbuds the right way.

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