Two types of voices command your attention today. Negative ones fill your mind with doubt, bitterness, and fear. Positive ones purvey hope and strength. Which one will you choose to heed? ~ Max Lucado
Happy New Year. Is it: Ritual / Routine/ Standard Operating Procedure? Every year we make New Year’s Resolutions. Every year we give it half an effort and give up completely by the 2nd week of January. Some of us do better. Some of us don’t give up until the end of January. Some of us are smarter and don’t even bother to make a resolution. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained. Why waste what little energy/time we do have, attempting to achieve something that we really didn’t have our hearts set on anyway? It’s been rumored that only 8% of people actually achieve their resolutions. (https://dailyharvestmarket.com/want-to-achieve-your-new-years-resolution-read-this/) The biggest slayer of resolutions is tackling projects that are too large. But did you know, if the project is broken down into smaller tasks, you are much more likely to succeed?
Hackers have learned this. They learn the trade on little guys, and then move up to medium sized guys, and finally the big guys. Unlike Goldilocks, who finds the little chair just right, they don’t care what size you are! They just want your money/login credentials/passwords/ID. And practicing on little guys is easiest. Little guys are the training grounds. So this is what I would suggest for a doable New Year’s Resolution (assuming you have already given up on the lose weight/exercise more/eat less/quit smoking).
Resolution: Protect Your Computer Data (and your ID)
Step 1: Download LastPass (https://www.lastpass.com/). IT’S FREE! LastPass will create unique passwords for the various sites you frequent. That means, the next time you read about Equifax or Yahoo or Target suffering a security breech, you won’t have to worry about thieves getting access to all other sites you frequent because you are using the same password everywhere.
Got this step completed? Reward yourself. I suggest Ice Cream!
Step 2: If your banks / credit cards / investment houses offer two factor authentication, Implement it! Two factor authentication means you need a password PLUS a security key which will be emailed, texted or phoned to you each time you logon to the site. Is it a pain in the rump? Yes! Is it worth it? Yes!
Got this step completed? Reward yourself. I suggest Moose Crunch, you know, Carmel Corn dipped in Chocolate.
Step 3: Backup your data!!! Enough already! Just do it! Buy an external drive and plug it in. Local Backups can protect you against hardware failure and sometimes against ransomware. Want better protection? Try cloud backup. This will protect you against hardware failure/fires/floods/physical theft and ransomware. Pricing starts at $25/month per workstation. Call me. I’ll get you started. When complete, I’ll buy you ice cream!
Step 4: Get rid of stuff you aren’t using. All of those browser add-ons have the potential to go rogue over time. There’s a nice site, complete with pictures, that will walk you thru the process of removing unnecessary extensions for each web browser. You can find it here: https://www.howtogeek.com/240090/how-to-uninstall-extensions-in-chrome-firefox-and-other-browsers/.
And if the stuff you’re not using includes digital accounts like Airbnb, Amazon, Ancestry, MySpace, to name just a few, then Everplans has directions for you. They have compiled a list of over 200 sites and directions for how to close an account. The list was originally designed to walk survivors through the process of closing accounts of deceased loved ones, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use these resources while still living. Access the list at: https://www.everplans.com/articles/how-to-close-online-accounts-and-services-when-someone-dies.
Got all four steps completed? Congratulations! You are in the top 8% of people who actually achieve their resolution! Reward Yourself. I suggest dinner and a movie with a loved one!
Let’s Keep the New Year Happy!!