Happy New Year–Seven Tech Resolutions for 2012

Happy new year friends and clients!  Here are some technology resolutions for you to implement (finally!) in 2012.  

  1. Backup your files– Let’s all do this one in January.  A good backup solution basically provides for 3 copies of your data:  The original copy on your computer, a local backup of your data on an external drive, flash drive, or another computer in your operations, and an automated remote backup over the Internet, such as Mozy, Carbonite, or WyzBackup, the one we provide our clients here at WyzGuys.
  2. Dump your SPAM – I have found a great spam removal product on the Android market that I got for my smartphone, but basically it killed all my spam including that which arrived on my laptop.  For $15 a year, SpamDrain is a super bargain.  Click here to purchase.
  3. Upgrade to Windows 7 – if you are still running an XP machine, or worse yet,a computer running Vista, it is time to upgrade to Windows 7.   Windows XP systems should just be replaced – the systems are at least 5 to 10 years old.  Remember, Microsoft updates and support for Windows XP ends in 2014.  Vista gear can be successfully upgrade to Windows 7 , if you don’t want to buy a new system, and you will experience a nice performance boost.   And the next version of Windows (Windows 8) promises to include a complete revision of the user interface, so you might want to grab Windows 7 while you can and avoid the pain of learning a completely new operating system.
  4. Upgrade your WiFi router – The current standard for wireless networks is the 802.11n or Wireless N standard.  Wireless N, at 600 megabits per second, is over 10 times faster than the Wireless G speed of 54 Mbs, and almost 60 times faster than Wireless B at 11 Mbs.  With everything we are pushing through our Internet connection (videos, movies, Internet TV and radio) you need to have the fastest speeds on your network to use them without issues.  In addition, we are streaming more content inside our own home or business networks to from and to a variety of wireless devices: home theater systems, smartphones, tablets, music players, gaming systems.  Faster WiFi makes the experience better.
  5. More memory – Almost any system will run better with more memory.  Older 32 bit operating systems can use up to 4 GB of RAM.  64 bit operating systems can use as much as 32 GB of RAM.  What’s optimal for you depends on what your are doing on line and what software tasks you engage in.  Windows 7 systems should have at least 4 GB of RAM, and would be so much better with 6 or even 8 GB.  Vista and XP systems (see resolution 2 first!) need at least 2 GB and 1 GB respectively.
  6. Bigger monitors or multiple monitors – If you are still working on an old 17” CRT type monitor, or an older 17” or 19” flat panel monitor, you should take a look an what there are in new monitors in the 23”-27” range.  Not only will you be able to display more, but the images can be bigger if you need them to be, and the images are incredibly clear.  And if you haven’t experienced the joys of working on two or more monitors, well this is the year.  It is simply great to keep email and browsing on one monitor, and use the bigger monitor for your work area – Word, Excel, Photoshop, etc.  If you are into any type of design work, a large 24 or 27 inch second monitor can make it possible to see your entire project plus all the toolbars and palettes you want.
  7. Get a Smartphone – Sure, you think you just want a simple phone to make calls.  Until you have tried a Smartphone, you just can’t know what you are missing.  Lost? – get a map and driving directions on your smartphone (while safely pulled over on the shoulder, of course.)  What am I supposed to do next? – synchronizing your Outlook or online calendar with your smartphone is a breeze.  Need a quick look at a web site? – smartphones make that super easy as well.  I am pretty happy with my Android smartphone, so there is no need to shell out big bucks for an iPhone.  Samsung made Android phones are pretty great, and I like the ones that have the slide out keyboard so I don’t have to mess around with the on-screen keyboard display.

That’s my short list of New Years resolutions for you.  And here’s hoping 2012 is full of growth and prosperity for all of us.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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