Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin: January 2013


Simplify your social media. Clear out the “friends” and “followers” you really have not cared to hear about all year long. Go ahead. It can be liberating.”

The holidays are over and the New Year has begun. It’s the time of year where we all try to start good habits and end the bad ones. Your digital devices deserve a fresh start too.

  • It’s time to reset your passwords. I use this time of year as a reminder to reset any banking and financial system passwords that I use, and also e-mail account passwords. Use a series of numbers and letters, easy to remember, and don’t use the same password for everything. Mix them up.
  • Ditch and archive unnecessary e-mail. If you notice you are getting too much junk mail from stores and the like, unsubscribe by viewing an e-mail and look for the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the page. Set up folders and filters to help keep your inbox neat.
  • Clear out irrelevant and unused bookmarks from your internet browser, and clear the cache and review your security and history settings. Remove any software you have not used, check for updates, and make sure your virus scanning software is running regularly. Consider adding an automatic off-site backup service, such as CoreVault or Carbonite.
  • On your e-readers, archive off books you have read and don’t need to carry with you on a regular basis. Delete apps that you have not found useful.
  • With your Smartphones (or older cell phones), delete  phone numbers you do not need, archive off photographs you’ve taken, and audit the apps you have downloaded.
  • Go digital with your receipts. Invest in a scanner and use software like Evernote to organize and prepare your receipts from last year – tax season is here. If you don’t have a scanner, you could use mobile phone photos but the quality of the record may suffer.
  • Simplify your social media. Clear out the “friends” and “followers” you really have not cared to hear about all year long. Go ahead. It can be liberating. With twitter accounts, look for a few new accounts to follow, perhaps aligned with your own personal goals for the year.
  • Do a power cord audit at home. How bad is the nest of wires behind your TV and computer? Invest in some zip ties, roll up extra cord in a neat fashion. Make sure things are less tangled, and that everything is plugged in to a surge protector. Use a disinfectant or dusting wipe to remove dust and grime while you’re at it. Consider upgrading to HDMI cables on newer devices if you haven’t already. Want to get real crazy? Ditch the 5 remotes on the coffee table for a universal remote. It will take a while to get it programmed, but limiting clutter is always good.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Consider investing in a small firesafe for your important documents at home, if you haven’t already.
  • While we all love the lighting displays on west 36 Street in Hampden, don’t forget to take your Christmas lights down in a timely fashion. They just don’t have the same charm once the utility bills start creeping up!
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Publications : Bar Bulletin : January 2013

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