I’m not really a fan of New Year’s resolutions, though like many people I often feel re-energized at the start of a new year. Instead of putting that energy into a list of year-long tasks or goals that would inevitably be abandoned, I decided this year that I’d try to capitalize on that energy to accomplish a few things I often put off. I settled on three things: passwords, backups, and bills.
I feel pretty good about my strategy for passwords, with one exception – I don’t change my passwords often enough. Sometimes I get lazy and use an existing password when I sign up for a new site, but the important sites all have unique, randomly generated, strong passwords (well as strong as they can be…I still can’t believe that banks don’t allow special characters and long lengths). It’s good security practice to change passwords regularly, but that never seems to happen. Over the last week, I’ve changed all my passwords. I started with the list of sites and services that I use regularly, and changed everything else as it came up. I’m sure there are a few that I’ve missed, and I’ll change them the next time I need to login. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be actually!
The second thing I tackled was backups. Despite having pretty good systems in place to backup Paramagnus stuff, I don’t have a good process for my personal stuff. I still don’t, but I did manage to accomplish a few things. First, I bought a new hard drive and copied everything from my existing data drive onto it. I’ll store the old one somewhere safe now. Second, I backed up a bunch of stuff to Amazon S3. It’s inexpensive, fast, and easy. Lately I’ve been using CloudBerry Explorer, it’s a great app! I’m going to try to back up important data more regularly, but that’ll be an ongoing thing.
The final thing I did? I turned off paper bills. I logged into every site that I currently receive something in the mail for and found that almost all of them have a “go paperless” button buried somewhere in the interface (some call it “change notification options” or something similar). I typically shred bills as soon as they arrive anyway, so why receive them at all? I do everything online, and I have no need for the physical copies. Now it’ll really be a unique experience to receive something in the mail!
I’ve got a number of things on the go that require time and energy of course, but these were my “New Year’s tasks” if you want to call them that. Anyone else shun resolutions in favor of accomplishing something right away?