3 Tech resolutions for the new year

It’s about time to make some new resolutions for 2012. Dreaming about these resolutions is always fun (check out my three below).

  1. Build a moon base to hold family reunions and to use as a vacation spot.
  2. Create the next “Pet Rock” and become a millionaire (if I become a billionaire, that is OK too).
  3. Create a new educational curriculum that will be implemented by more than 98% of all schools in the world.

However, making realistic ones are not always so to easy to come up with. Have no fear, we here at IT Babble have three easy resolutions that you can fulfill. While these will not lead to riches, they are practical and will make your life easier and will hopefully save your bacon. Read on past the break to see how IT Babble can help.

Resolution #1 – CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD!

Yep, I just wrote that in caps. That’s right, I just yelled at you through my blog. If you’re like many people, you only have a few passwords for all your accounts and you use those passwords year in and year out. It makes life easy to have just the one, but when if those accounts get hacked it can lead to weeks of problems. While changing your password doesn’t guarantee your accounts safety it greatly increases the security of those accounts to change the password once a year.

When choosing a password Microsoft has some tips to help make it secure. Also there are websites out there that will create them for you. Strong Password Generator is a good website but there are others out there as well.

Of course creating a 15 character password is easy enough, remembering that password can be the hard part. This is why I use 1Password. This not only remembers my passwords for each website, allows me one click signing in, but it can also generate and remember those passwords. The downside is this software is $50. There are other solutions out there, for a list of some trusted ones (both Mac and PC) check out this article on Lifehacker.

So take the time and change that there passwords.

Resolution #2 – Backup your computer/data

I’m speaking from experience here people. Backing up your computer is very important. I lost my computer to a faulty hard drive and I was lucky that I had backed up everything, when I got my computer back I was able to restore everything and only lost a few documents here and there. It saved me hours of work and recreating unit plans, blog posts, music, photos, movies and much more. It goes without saying why it is important but a lot of people are not sure where to start.

If you have a Mac you have Time Machine built into your computer. All you need is to have an external hard drive that is the same size or larger than the one on your computer. Turn on Time Machine (in your system preferences) and plug in your hard drive. Your computer will take care of everything else. Time Machine is not perfect and there are some things that bug me about it, but there is no denying that it works. You can find out everything you need to know to get started here.

Windows does not have one built in but there are plenty of choices. Go ahead and check out another list from Lifehacker that will help you get backing up.

Having a back up is always a good plan, but if you have no computer to restore it to, then your back up can’t do you much good. It is always a good idea to back up important documents on a USB. An even better idea (I do this for my unit plans) is to back them up in a cloud storage service. There is a list below to help you get started with those.

Resolution #3 – Read more or new blogs!

This is one that I am sure to follow. I have a number of blogs that I follow and love to read but this year I need to stretch out a little more. It will only help me as a teacher to get new ideas elsewhere and it also helps me built my Personal Learner Network (PLN). Hopefully you feel the same way and we can help you out :).

Go ahead and subscribe to IT Babble (take a look at the pics below). We would appreciate it and I’m sure that we can give you a few good ideas in 2012.

Happy New Year from IT Babble!

About Patrick Cauley

I teach middle school technology and love to play around with tech and teach students and colleagues alike. You can read my blog at www.itbabble.com
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