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Are you guilty of any of these bad tech habits?

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Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Let's take an informal poll: Raise your hand if you have NO bad habits. Those of you who raised your hands obviously have a habit of lying, so put them back down.

Some bad tech habits are obvious. You use the same password for every account. Maybe you text during family dinners or share too much on Facebook. You definitely want to work on fixing any of these.

There are tech habits, however, you probably don't realize are bad. Let's take a look at five that might surprise you.

Forgetting to clean

When was that last time you cleaned your phone? How about your computer keyboard or mouse? Be honest.

Just think for a moment about how often you touch your tech gear. Now, think about how often you touch your tech gear in between washing your hands.

Phones can have 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

So, keep some tech-friendly antiseptic wipes near your computer and phone charger. A quick swipe of your gear at the end of the day will keep the nasties down.

Having multiple users per account

Recently, a toddler made news for buying a car on eBay using her dad's smartphone. Talk about an impulse buy!

On a computer, this is easy enough to prevent. In Windows, go to Start>>Control Panel and select User Accounts. On Macs, go to System Preferences and choose Users and Groups.

You can create as many user accounts as you need. Be sure to make them Standard accounts. This keeps other users from installing dangerous programs. Establishing multiple accounts keeps everyone's information separate.

Not taking breaks

You're working hard on a time-sensitive project. Hours fly by as you type, your focus never leaving the computer screen.

I'll give you an A for effort, but an F for taking care of yourself.

Imagine that instead of working, I was talking about a teen playing a video game. You would tell them that staring at a computer screen for hours will ruin their eyes. Constant button-mashing will give them repetitive stress injuries. They need to get up and walk around to get the blood flowing.

Just because you're not having fun doesn't mean the same rules don't apply.

Not upgrading

I'm not going to talk about installing regular Windows, OS X or security software updates. No, I'm talking about upgrading the programs themselves. I know many of you still use Windows XP. You might use Internet Explorer 8 or even 7 as your browser.

I understand why you haven't. Upgrading can cost money. You're used to the way things work. The newer versions might seem more complicated.

Well, those are valid reasons, but at some point, enough is enough.

Treating public Wi-Fi like private Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is great. You can get online with your laptop at the airport, coffee shop or hotel. But don't forget that it's a network. You're sharing it with other people.

Don't think logging in to an encrypted public network is any better. On a public network, hackers are just other members of the public. Most just snoop. But some grab bank and other log-in information.

E-mail Kim Komando at techcomments@usatoday.com.

 

 
 


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