09 Jun 2015
3 minute read
Taking control of your digital life
Technology is all around us. In our homes, pockets, even on our wrists and heads. The Internet of Things (IOT) is coming big time. Notifications are constantly flying, our digital security and privacy are at risk more than ever. We fill servers with data generated from the way we live. If not taken care of, things can get out of control.
Mobile phones and wearable gadgets are constantly buzzing and vying for attention. They control us, making us glimpse into the screens and wasting minute after minute, hour after hour on senseless stuff and stupid games/news/alerts/etc. This is vital for our existence. If the devices have the upper hand, we’re at their mercy. They want out attention and they sure get all of it. At all times. The trick to solve this issue is by uninstalling useless apps and unchecking EVERYTHING except phone calls from notifications settings. I’ve done this myself and it’s been a bless. No more sounds, vibrations and stress. I check the phone whenever I want to, not when it calls for my attention. The same is true for other devices like computers, tablets, whatever you use. Just turn the damned notifications off. You’ll thank me later.
Almost every app shares data to the web, being user’s data or analytics. Delete the apps that aren’t vital to your on and offline life. Another weak point are passwords. There are numerous password manager solutions, most of them offering a free tier. While anything is better than nothing, or worse - the same password everywhere. What works best for myself is a simple notebook for offline password storage (locked and hidden somewhere at home) as well as the Apple-provided iCloud keychain for my iDevices. Simple and free.
After starting to use a password manager or a notebook, make sure your passwords are tough and hard to break. A simple way to achieve this would be - use uppercase and lowercase letters, mixed with numbers. Add a couple symbols for color. Make sure the length of the password is at least 30 characters long.
Use two factor authentication whenever possible. Most of the services on the web provide the option to require a token on login. Just make sure this option is activated. There are two cases - SMS verification, which would require your phone for login, or an authenticator app - like Google Authenticator. Set up is easy, the benefits are numerous.
When making a new account for a service, ignore the “login with Facebook/Twitter/etc.” buttons and create a native account for the platform. This is both more secure and allows for better management of what type of your personal information the service gets.
Hobbies and memory
Before Google, Wikipedia and todo lists, people used to know a lot of information and use their brans more. Currently it’s much easier and widely preferred to delegate your tasks and shopping list to the calendar or todo app and search in google for the answer of some question. Memory is being used less than ever. Evolution isn’t stupid - it removes things that aren’t used plus this weakens your memory. Forget about apps replacing your brain - think, remember, learn, play sudoku and similar challenges and brain games.
Photons from screens at the evening disturb the sleep and hinder the recovery process of our organism. Create a challenge for yourself and stop using technology past 6 o’clock at the evening. This will result in a better and healthier lifestyle.
Choose hobbies like walking, cycling, hit the gym, go to self defense lessons, dance lesson, socialize with friends… whatever comes to your mind. Leave the screens behind and live your life.
I’ve come to this lessons and conclusions during the past months and I’m trying to adapt them to myself. It’s interesting how many people are starting to live and are leaving technology in the working hours. Maybe this is the right thing to do. Life is limited, don’t spend it in front of the screens of your devices.