Fix: Setting up multiple user accounts on Windows isn't difficult, and it's an incredibly prudent precaution if more than one person is going to use the machine. Never mind the privacy issues -- accidents happen, even among grown-ups sharing a PC. Having two people working on different files called "resume.doc" can only end in heartache.
For children, security and safety are bigger concerns. Setting up kids with Standard User accounts (instead of Administrator) is the wise thing to do to keep unwanted software from being installed, and it's the key to letting you configure parental controls on the computer, as well. So next time Junior wants to use your PC "real quick, just to look something up," tell him sure, and give him his own account.
11. Failing to update
Software published today is updated on a near-constant schedule. If you have a few dozen apps on your smartphone or tablet, you've probably become accustomed to downloading updates on a daily basis -- unless you're one of those people who never update anything.
Software updates are released for a variety of reasons. The application's developers add features, fix bugs, and plug security holes. Installing updates upon release -- particularly operating system updates and security software updates -- is essential to keeping your device stable and secure.
Fix: Every application has to be updated, so it's forgivable if you don't want to deal with the constant nagging to install, reboot, and repeat every day. Automatic updates take some of the hassle out of this operation, but most software updates today still have to be manually installed. There's no easy solution to this. If immediately installing updates when they appear in the system tray or on your handset doesn't fit with your computing habits, make it a weekly event to update everything all at once -- perhaps after you take out the trash.
12. Printing anything
You've seen the request at the bottom of so many email messages: "Please consider the environment before printing this email." Is that really necessary in 2013? Who is not considering the environment? And more important, who is still printing out their email?
In an age of $75 terabyte hard drives and endless cloud storage, why does anything that starts out in digital format, such as email, ever need to go back to paper? Even utility and bank statements are archived online (often for years), much safer as backups than the ones sitting in file cabinets in your house.
What legitimately needs to be printed? The only thing I can come up with is mailing labels for products that have to be physically shipped somewhere, and maybe the packing slips or receipts that are included with those packages. Also arguably acceptable is the occasional printed photograph that you'd like to frame and put on the wall.
Fix: Unplug your printer and stick it in a closet for a week. See if you can't go paperless, cold turkey.
13. Faxing, ever
As bad a habit as printing is, faxing is infinitely worse. Here, you have the opportunity to break the paper cycle, but instead you're continuing it, indeed worsening it by duplicating the paper and possibly racking up long-distance telephone charges in the process.