Financial information, passwords, account info, and other sensitive data on your computer should be protected securely. Here are a few pieces of software I use to encrypt my important data so only someone with the password can access it:
Knox (Mac): Create a special encrypted drive to store data using either a portion of your local hard drive or an external hard drive or thumb drive.
1Password (Mac/PC): Encrypt passwords, bank account information, and any other secure notes with this amazing Password manager. It also syncs with Dropbox, which enables you to use the software on multiple computers and access your passwords via the web.
Apple FileVault (Mac): Encrypt your entire home directory. Be careful! If you lose your recovery key, you lose all your data.
VeraCrypt (PC): A popular free encryption software for PC. I haven’t used it myself, but it looks similar to Knox.
Sometimes Word files can get corrupted or accidentally deleted. If you write in Word a lot, it might make sense to keep backup copies of your documents just in case. Word has a built in feature to automate this process. Once enabled, it will generate a backup (duplicate) file in the same directory every time you save your document.
Go to Word > Preferences > Save.
Check the Always create backup copy.
Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
Scroll to the Save section, and then select the Always create backup copy check box.
If you are browsing the internet on a public computer, you may not want others to see what you have searched for or what web pages you’ve looked at. Fortunately there are several browsers that let you look at the web without leaving a trail behind you.
Safari: Go to Safari > Private Browsing
Chrome: Go to File > New Incognito Window
Firefox: Go to File > New Private Window
Chrome: Go to Settings (icon next to address bar) > New Incognito Window
Firefox: Go to the orange Firefox menu > New Private Window
Internet Explorer: Go to Settings (gear icon) Safety > InPrivate Browsing
If you are using a Windows keyboard with your Mac, the default placement of the Control, Option and Command keys might not be ideal. You can easily change the defaults for any attached keyboard in your System Preferences:
Open System Preferences
Go to Keyboard
In the lower right-hand corner click the Modifier Keys button
Select the right keyboard, make your changes, and hit OK
Instead of printing out every confirmation or receipt I get on the web, I like to save mine electronically. It’s eco-friendly, saves space, and makes organization easier.
Mac: In Safari/Firefox, go to File > Print (or hit CMD-P). When you get to the Print dialog box, instead of clicking Print, click on the PDF button in the lower left corner. Choose “Save as PDF” and choose which folder you’d like to save a PDF version of your receipt in.
In Chrome, go to File > Print (or hit CMD-P). Change the Destination to “Save as PDF” and then hit the Save button.
PC: If you are using the Chrome browser, click on the tool icon in the top-right corner. Choose Print. Change the destination to “Print to PDF” and click Print.
Did you know you can change the icons on your computer to something more fun and unique? The IconFactory has tons of cool free icons to choose from. Just find the sets you like and click on the Apple or Windows logo next to them to download to your computer. Browse IconFactory’s icons »
Here are instructions on how to customize your icons: Mac | PC
Did you know that a messy computer desktop can actually slow your computer down? Each file on your desktop uses a bit of computer memory, and your computer needs memory in able to run efficiently. Try moving your files to your Documents folder, or just keep shortcuts on your Desktop to the folders and files you frequently use.