For many of us, 2018 was the year when we learned exactly how intrusive Facebook could be, and the year that we all were on the lookout for misinformation on social media. If the past year made us worry that our tech is out of our control, let’s make the next year the one where we get that control back.
We may not be able to change the way our favorite apps and services work behind the scenes, but we can change the way we interact with them, and work to protect our personal information. Here are some of the best tips from The New York Times to do just that in the new year.


Finally back up all your digital photos
Whether they’re the photos you took during the holidays, or those ancient photos that Facebook or Google like to use to “remind you of this day,” now is the time to make sure you have them backed up for safekeeping.


Stop your smart TV from tracking you
Whether a smart TV is in your home already or on your holiday wish list, it’s important to know that it’s designed to keep tabs on what you watch so the company that built it can use the data. You don’t have to let yourself be watched while you watch TV, though. Turning it off is simple, if you know where to look.


Put an end to spam calls and text messages
Robocalls are on the rise, and scammers call and text more now than ever before. So how do you know that when your phone rings, it is someone you want to hear from? What can you do to protect yourself? Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to block those robocalls for good, and to report spammers so they can’t contact you again.


Clean your filthy, disgusting laptop
It may sound harsh, but when is the last time you cleaned your laptop? You probably use it every day, and it’s likely covered in grime that has accumulated over the course of months — or even years.
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