It's a new year and there's a fresh canvas. Why not take that new perspective on life and make some changes in the tech realm? These tips are pretty basic but a good reminder to do some maintenance on your social media accounts, email, and smartphone.

1. Change your passwords

Yep, this is a good first step. It's a good idea to change every password you use, from online bank accounts to social media. Make sure you mix in a few specific characters and capital letters. For accounts you use often, consider adding two-factor authentication (you get a text to verify the login).

2. Add your phone number to the Do Not Call list

You may think you're on the Do Not Call list, but you can make sure by verifying your number. In my experience, even when I'm 100% absolutely sure I've registered before I discover that I'm not actually on the list for some reason. Adding your number takes about two minutes.

3. Delete outdated accounts

Speaking of passwords--here's an even better way to protect your accounts beyond changing a password. If you don't even use a service anymore, just deactivate or delete the account. You won't have to think about changing those passwords ever again.

4. Update your social media profiles, backgrounds, and cover images

Start the year with a clean slate the only way that matters these days--by updating your profile on Twitter, Facebook, and other social nets. Bonus if you go ahead and change the cover and background images, or if you change your own photo.

5. Tweak your email signature

Most of us use the same old email signature line, but why not update it? I used to include a funny quote in mine, but I've recently decided to trim it down. Grab an extra social media network like Instagram and add the link in (it helps you gain more followers).

6. Get rid of some apps

On your phone, there are likely a boatload of apps taking up space and using extra memory. Zap them to clean up your digital footprint. A bonus here is to add a few new apps you can try out--maybe a new flight tracker or one that helps you get a weather forecast.

Published on: Jan 3, 2018