“New year, new me!” Bleugh. Maybe the hangover and bruised dancing feet just puts me in a bad mood, but personal reinvention isn’t even on my radar after I bring in the New Year. I’m doing just fine, thanks, and I hope you are too.
You know what’s better than resolutions? Solutions. Here’s some top tips for the tech landscape for issues you may not have thought about.
Take control of your credentials
Everyone knows it’s risky business to use the same username and password for everything (especially the important stuff – your online banking password should be worlds apart from your login for Cheezburger.com) but with the sheer volume of websites we join these days, it’s impossible to memorise all your details.
If you regularly use the same computer or phone to log in, chances are they’ll remember the login details for you, but what happens when you get a new device? To stop a simple setup from becoming a soul-crushing struggle, get an address book to write down your usernames and passwords. These books are alphabetised, so you can organise your credentials by the name of the website or company they’re used for.
Once you have your book, keep it somewhere safe (an actual safe if you have one – think along the lines of the same place you keep your passport or birth certificate). You won’t need to check it too often, but when you do, you’ll be grateful for it.
P.S – While you’re at it; please, oh please make sure your passwords aren’t the same as any on this list.
Turn down to avoid the “What?”
Sometimes technology can go too far, and one example is definitely the maximum volume setting on smartphones, iPods and other portable music players. With the advent of affordable in-ear and noise-cancelling headphones, you really don’t need to crank it that loud to block out the outside world. Modern devices can pump out up to 120 decibels of sound (basically a live rock concert) but it only takes regular listening at 90 decibels or more to increase your risk of hearing complications.
Many devices or music apps allow you to turn down the master volume, but if you have little ones, you may not trust them to keep it turned down for their favourite tunes. Consider volume-limiting headphones such as Liquid Ears Kid Headphones, which keep sound at 85 decibels or less. They might whinge now but they’ll thank you when they’re older and not part of the rising statistic of hearing loss.
Cleanse the “cleanse” chatter
One of the great things about social media is you can pick and choose who to follow, cultivating your feed almost exclusively with content you enjoy. However, ‘tis the season for otherwise lovely people to brag about stuff you may not care about. Unfortunately there’s no content filtering solution for Instagram just yet so you’ll still have to contend “#juicecleanse” in 2016. However, here’s how to keep certain keywords out of sight on some other popular social media sites and apps;
This won’t just save you from minor annoyances – it’s very useful for avoiding vulgar/hateful content and can even be used to stop someone spoiling a TV show, movie or sports match before you’ve had a chance to enjoy it.
Put the personal back into digital
This one isn’t so much a solution as it is just really cool – Myscriptfont.com lets you make a font out of your handwriting. All you have to do is download the template, fill in the letters with a paint program or by printing it out, then scan or save and upload it to the website. It will spit out a font file which you can install on your computer (some guides for Windows or Mac if you’re not sure how to do that) and then start tapping away as if it were Time New Roman.
If you’ve ever suffered carpal tunnel or arthritis, you might appreciate the ability to tap out some letters or invitations that resemble your handwriting without the strain of real pen-on-paper. Regardless, it’s fun to play around with, especially when you create a font that’s entirely little pictures like emoji. J
Have you made a tech-related resolution (or solution) for 2016? Tell us about it in the comments.