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Technology

Advice from Kim: New Year’s tech resolutions

It’s not the early ’90s, when home internet was just hitting the scene, so why are so many people still making rookie mistakes when it comes to technology?

Reusing passwords that are just too easy to crack, and using public Wi-Fi without a VPN, are just a couple of common mistakes. Tap or click here if you need help creating stronger passwords.

When it comes to tech advice, your best bet is to look to the Digital Goddess herself. Here are some helpful tech tips from Kim Komando that you should make your New Year’s tech resolutions.

Clean up your inbox

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The internet really changed the way we communicate with people. Instead of handwriting tedious letters and sending them through snail-mail, now we can rapidly type an email, hit “Send” and have it delivered instantly to anyone anywhere in the world.

This system is definitely faster than the days or weeks it would take waiting for the old school mailing method. The problem is, if you’re like me, when you chose an email account you stick with it for years. It’s easier to stick with a trusted email account than having to tell everyone in your life you’re switching to a new one.

But after years of activity, email addresses can get bombarded with spam. There are so many unwanted emails in your inbox at any given time it can be difficult to keep track of what’s legitimate and what’s not.

That’s why it’s a good idea to find a site that can help clean up your inbox and help you unsubscribe from all those email lists you don’t care about anymore. One site that can help is called CleanEmail.

Moving, deleting and unsubscribing from emails in email clients or via web interface is very slow and limiting. CleanEmail is able to remove thousands of emails by directly communicating with your mailbox server-to-server.

No need to download everything to your phone or desktop anymore, move things to the trash or delete page by page. Tap or click here to learn more about CleanEmail.

Related: Cut down on the amount of spam in your inbox

Another option is unroll.me. It scans your email and helps get rid of unwanted subscriptions. You can’t go wrong with either option. Tap or click here for more advice on cleaning out your inbox.

Get your life back by cutting down on screen time

If you added up all the minutes and hours every day you spend staring at a smartphone, tablet, computer monitor or television sets, you might be shocked.

How bad is the problem? Even Apple, which wants people to actually use its devices, recently introduced a setting that is meant to help you manage your screen use by setting time limits for apps.

Apple’s iPhone Screen Time feature is meant as a quick way to track how much you’re using your iOS gadgets and encourage healthy technology behaviors.

To check Screen Time on your Apple gadget and turn it on or off, follow these steps:

Open Settings >> tap Screen Time. On the next screen, you can see a breakdown of what activities you’re spending your time on. To turn Screen Time off or on, scroll down to the bottom of the screen then tap “Turn Off Screen Time” (or “Turn On Screen Time” if it’s off.)

Android users can download an app like Quality Time to track their screen time. The goal is to spend more time with your eyes looking up than down at a screen.

For more ideas, tap or click here for 9 clever ways to cut down on screen time and get your life back.

Safer driving made easy

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Thousands of lives have been lost due to distracted-driving-related accidents in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported nearly 3,200 lives were claimed by distracted driving in 2017 alone.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

NHTSA

So why do people still reach for their phones when they’re behind the wheel? Some drivers believe they can multitask, even if their perception is far from reality. Some are worried about missing an important call or message. For some, it’s a sign of a deeper addiction to their mobile phones.

No matter the reason, it’s time to stop and keep your eyes on the road. The easiest way is to turn on Do Not Disturb mode on your device.

Related: Use this tool to prevent distracted driving.

For iPhone

It’s super easy to turn on for iPhone users. All you need to do is open Settings >> tap Do Not Disturb >> slide the toggle to the right next to Do Not Disturb to turn the feature on.

That’s it, Do Not Disturb mode is now on. When you’re finished driving, just go beck into Settings in the Do Not Disturb section and slide the toggle to the left to turn it off.

For Android

Do Not Disturb mode is also easy to turn on and off for Android devices. Since there are many manufacturers that make Android phones, the steps might be slightly different on each model. Here are the steps for the most common method:

Open Settings >> tap Sound >> slide the toggle to the right next to Do Not Disturb. The feature is on now. To turn off Do Not Disturb slide the toggle to the left.

By doing this you will be setting a good example to the kids in your family. If you need to, put your phone in the trunk before getting behind the wheel.

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