Every year we make New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes we succeed, often we don’t. Either way, resolutions can be useful. They indicate an awareness that something about the way we live needs to change. For many of us, the way we use technology—smartphones, fitness trackers, social media—needs to change. So here are a handful of resolutions aimed at improving our relationship with tech. They’ve got two things going for them: they’re important and they’re easy to achieve.
- Delete old apps. It’s not just the apps you use that soak up your data. Long-ignored and dormant apps—even if they’re closed—are still gathering information and conveying it to the companies that operate them. If there’s an app on your phone you haven’t used in a month, you probably don’t need it. Delete it. As a bonus, with fewer apps junking up your phone, it will probably work better.
- Turn off voice assistants like Siri and Google assist. Yes, they’re listening to you. Are they recording what you say? Sometimes. Are Apple and Google using your voice commands for their benefit? Definitely. What’s in it for you? Not a lot. Turn them off.
- Set your social media accounts to private. Instagram has a private setting. So do Facebook and the others. Use them. If you’re going to use social media, keep your posts visible only to the people to whom you’re directly connected.
- Try enjoying being disconnected. Be happy you missed that event everyone’s posting about and went for a walk in the woods with a friend instead. Embrace JOMO. The Joy Of Missing Out. You’ll be happy you did.
- Don’t use public WiFi. You’re working in a coffee shop and in need of a WiFi signal. Be careful. Public WiFi networks are notoriously vulnerable to hackers and “man in the middle” attacks. Instead, use an LTE signal or, better yet, buy a VPN from a trusted provider like Datacappy VPN with an integrated, ad-blocking browser.
Reprinted with permission from privacyparent.com