Saturday, January 7, 2017

New Years Resolutions - Technology Style!

New Years is a great time for reflection. A new start. A new set of opportunities. A time to do things differently. While you are cleaning out your closets and figuring out which gym to join, spend some time planning how you can do some new great things in your technology life. Here are five places to start. I've left "Backup your stuff" off the list this year. If you aren't already doing that, I can't help you.

Security - Let face it folks, it is time to get serious about information security. Why, you ask? Whats that? Never been hacked before? Good for you. Remember, the bad guys already have your information, they stole it from someplace else like the federal government, Yahoo, HomeDepot Target or any one of a thousand other places. They just haven't gotten around to you yet. Change passwords (see my next blog post for a method to remember them). Turn on two-factor for all your accounts that support it (also called second factor, enhanced security, second passcode, token generator). Delete old accounts. Review which apps have access to your Google & social media accounts. Make sure your virus protection is up to date.

Smartphone Love - Show your smartphone some love by updating the apps on it. Get it to the most recent operating system release. Use software like "find my iPhone" or "lookout" to be able to find it, wipe it or lock it when you can't find it. Smartphones are amazingly easy to lose, and it happens all the time. Make sure you do the minimum by turning on a password or passcode. Delete apps you haven't used in 3 months.

Learn Something New - Acquire a new skill in 2017. Learn a new coding language, become proficient in a new platform, develop a presentation on an emerging technology. Do something NEW. I don't mean play with something new. Part of the problem with technology these days is too many people play with it and not enough of them understand how anything really works. Above all else, be curious. This will impress your friends briefly at work and at parties.

Friends & Followers - Just like your closets, your lists of friends need to be cleaned out. Consider who the chatter-boxes are, and whether you still want them in your feed. The day I dropped Guy Kawasaki was the day I could start using my Twitter feed again. Take a look at your feeds for a day, and see where all the traffic comes from. Don't be shy about dropping people, they won't take it personally.

Emerging Technologies - The cycle for technologies to be conceptualized, realized, adopted and then mainstreamed is becoming shorter and shorter. We no longer have the luxury of waiting a few years to see how things will work out before paying attention to new technologies. Use 2017 to be more aware of what is new in technology and what it may mean for your future. There has never been a time in history when there has been more velocity in technology change. Don't get left behind!

There you go. Five things to get on the old to-do list. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, more efficient. These things will help you help your technology do that. Good luck.

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