CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Top 4 tech habits you need to break right now

Get some peace of mind by breaking some bad habits and developing some good ones along the way.

Iyaz Akhtar Principal Video Producer
Iyaz Akhtar works tenaciously to make technology work for him so he can live a life of leisure. He's been in the tech sector as a writer, an editor, a producer, and a presenter since 2006.
Iyaz Akhtar
3 min read

It's a brand new year, so why not start it off right by ditching the shackles of old habits and trying some new things to make your tech life easier? We know that old habits die hard and that's why we've also included links to show you how to handle these common practices

1. Using the same passwords for multiple sites

Using the same password on multiple sites is trouble because if any one of those sites is hacked, that information could be used against you in many different places. Yes, it's inconvenient to have multiple passwords if you are relying only on your memory. That's why it's a good idea to give a password manager like LastPass a chance. If you've never tried a password manager, it can store your usernames and passwords for you, it can generate new passwords for you, and is accessible online. Here's our tutorial on how to use LastPass if you're up for a change.

2. Not backing up your photos

I'll never forget the panic of almost losing hundreds of photos of my newborn because I didn't regularly sync my phone to my PC. Nowadays, that is a simple problem to overcome. If your phone is your primary camera (like it is for many), do yourself a favor and download an app that will automatically backup your photos and videos to the cloud.

There are plenty of options out there. If you like Google, you can use either Google+ on iOS or the Photos app on Android to set up auto backup. Dropbox also offers the same functionality if you turn on the camera upload option. If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you get unlimited storage of your photos as well with the Amazon Cloud Drive app.

3. Not minding your Facebook settings

It's easy to visit Facebook, see what your friends are up to, and post your own status updates. However, when was the last time you took a look to see what content you were posting and who could see it? Diving into those Facebook settings can seem like a nightmare, but we've got a great article on how to secure your Facebook account that you should take a look at.

Screenshot by Iyaz Akhtar/CNET

4. Running Flash all the time on your laptop

We are all fans of running online video on our computers, but sometimes Flash can cause your computers fans to spin up to try to cool down your PC. You should give up having Flash running all the time. If you're on Google Chrome, try out FlashControl. If you're on Firefox, try out FlashBlock. By default, these plugins will not load Flash content on a page unless you put a site on a whitelist or if you click the Flash item to load it. You'd be surprised how much battery life you can save if you turn off Flash on a number of sites. Be warned that the web might look very different to you at first, but it's definitely worth it. If you want to squeeze more battery life out of your laptop or phones, check out our guide on battery life and how to preserve it.

Josh Miller/CNET

Bonus for Android users: Accepting your phone's default interface.

If you're like the majority of people who use Android smartphones, you may just enjoy all the great apps on your phone. But, did you know that you can change the entire way your phone presents your apps and widgets? Manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and LG all put their spin on Android with their own customizations. However, you can modify your phone by trying any number of launchers. If you've never heard of a launcher, here's everything you need to know about Android launchers. Installing one is as easy as installing any other app and you can always go back to your phone's default if you so choose.