The worst IT habits

The worst IT habits

As an exemplary IT user, you can save yourself this article. If you still want to get upset – please. […]

Today we honor the enemies of technology, the fools and the lazy. If you can combine all of the following 25 bad habits, you win.

Anyone who thinks they can get through life without anti-malware, virus scanners and a firewall is working on spam mail click avoidance and quarantine web surfing – but also on the downfall of the West. The bad boys are already waiting!

If it does not apply to yourself (be honest…), you know at least one person who does not make backups. Excuse pattern: “I know that I should back up my data regularly, but…” There is only one thing for sure: all hard drives will break sooner or later.

If you only store backups on another partition of the same hard drive, or if you only use another hard drive in the same computer, or if you store your backups directly next to the computer, etc., you are taking a risk. If the computer runs out, then correctly, if the burglar clears out the apartment, then correctly and so on. Back up your important data in different places and automatically on several drives – because if something blesses the time, you should have an emergency plan in your pocket.

Attention is the first step to success. Even if the Viagra offer may sound tempting: if you consistently ignore spam mails, the spammers have no chance.

Otherwise this will happen here. Attention: Not even the click on “Do not send me any more e-mails” protects you – the spammers then know that the recipient you addressed really (still) exists and have their bright joy in continuing to haunt you with well-intentioned offers. Therefore: turn on the filter and ignore the rest (see above).

Carrying the notebook from the kitchen to the living room while it is running may still work. On the other hand, taking a switched-on computer from the office to the subway, then on a mile-long walk and across the stairwell to the apartment is deadly. Hard drives break and computers overheat. Many notebooks shut down automatically (or go to sleep mode) when they are closed. Otherwise, please switch off! Oh yes: There are bonus points if you transport the switched-on computer in the locked briefcase.

It may be cuddly to use the computer in bed – but it is also dangerous. Pillows and blankets can prevent the air supply to the housing and lead to overheating. Use a lap desk or a large photo book as a base. Also be careful when sitting!

Why are so many people still printing everything? Digital information can be read on the screen, smartphone or tablet PC. There are recognized alternatives for official letters and other legally binding matters – there are more and more in Germany every day.

A grain of sand or a drop of water in the zoom and the camera is gone. If you already want to take pictures on the beach, then pack the device in a waterproof case or a plastic bag. It is best to buy a water- and beach-resistant camera right away.

All hell is going on in car parks and parking lots: thieves are waiting for wealthy businessmen who leave their notebook bags in the car for a few minutes to help themselves. The window is smashed and less than ten seconds later you are over the mountains with the expensive equipment. Even the trunk is not safe and usually even easier to break up than the rest of the car. Never let your notebook out of your sight. To be completely sure, you should also encrypt it completely and secure it with a travel lock.

Every e–mail you have ever received is stored in your inbox – nicely sorted chronologically and guaranteed to go unnoticed for years. Congratulations!

Perhaps you have already noticed that many users still do not know what CTRL+C, CTRL+X and CTRL+V mean. Not only ALT+F4 and ALT+TAB save Windows users a lot of time.

If the computer spins again and takes forever to run a program, you should check which programs and add-ons you really still need. Three instant messengers, five media players and seven browser toolbars? Seriously?

An unwritten law states that any technical device breaks exactly one day after the warranty expires. This is often true – but not always. So there is no reason to dispose of every receipt immediately after the purchase and to be annoyed later that the free service now costs money due to the lack of proof of purchase.

Staying in a tent to be the first to get a half-finished hype device in the morning? Does that have to be? We live in an age of mass production, in which even one day later, something that is in high demand is still available. Even easier: Order online and have it delivered directly to your home.

Admittedly, you can get upset about Windows. You can also get angry and start to break into the computer wildly. Ultimately, however, it only helps to reduce the pent-up aggression and the sales of the dealer, who may soon charge a new PC or at least a repair.

Throw the new electricity bill on the table and mix it with family photos, the weekly newspaper and your credit cards? Hardly – they attach them neatly to the others. Then do the same with your files!

Who but the advertisers wants to know where they are currently shopping? Of course, if you are in really great places – in Versailles, the Cheops Pyramid or on Munich’s Marienplatz – you are welcome to use these services.

If you want to scatter some information, please do not refer only to an online encyclopedia, which anyone can edit anonymously. Wikipedia’s footnotes and further references usually lead to better and more reliable references.

Unflattering private pictures on the net have not yet earned anyone a new job.

If you buy your IT in the store, take care of the seller! He wants to get rid of his stuff – whether you need it or not! Customer reviews on the Internet provide much better information about the pros and cons of a device. You can still buy it later in the store…

Manufacturers once had a good idea: they offer a device or software in several versions and write “Basic”, “Normal” and “Extreme Ultra Power” on it – the prices vary from moderate to completely excessive for the latter. What is bought: the overpriced ultra-power thing, because ultra-power is on it and it looks cool. It rarely really performs usefully more than the cheaper variants and benefits from the fact that users are blinded by the name and the marketing nonsense. Compare exactly and find out about the different models in advance – a time investment that pays off!

Anyone who covers all email accounts, bank accounts, online shopping sites and online office tools with a single password has a problem. He makes it very easy for identity thieves. If you already have a bad memory: vary the passwords at least a little. And no: passwords saved on the browser side don’t really make it any better!

If you subscribe to newsletters or register on ambiguous websites, you should always have at least one disposable address in your backhand. Otherwise, your official account will quickly become a dump.

Mobile phones and smartphones are quickly lost. The dishonest finder is happy if he does not have to enter a PIN to call paid service numbers or surf the net for hours. We will also take the open address book with us on this occasion.

Of course, this is contrary to the Web 2.0 idea. We want our articles, blog posts and discussions to be commented on. But not in comment #86 on page 4 (admittedly, it won’t happen here…). Use social media tools like Twitter or let off steam under this text.

*As Senior Project Manager Research, Simon Hülsbömer supervises study projects in IDG market research. Previously, as a Program Manager, he was responsible for business development and the content of the IDG continuing education program at the interface of business and IT – in terms of content, he is still active for the “Leadership Excellence Program”. Before that, he worked as a (senior) editor for Computerwoche for about ten years and supervised all topics related to IT security, risk management, compliance and data protection.

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