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The 25 worst bad habits with technology and how to fix them

Avoid permanent damage with this handy guide

We've all got bad habits when it comes to technology, whether it's relying on 'password' as your password or shutting down via the power button and not the Windows Start Menu. However, there are some tech bad habits that will cause permanent damage. We've rounded up the 25 worst tech habits that are guaranteed to cause you all sorts of hassles.

7. Printing everything

You already have a digital record - why do you need to print it out? Even forms that require signatures often can accept a 'digital' signature that you create in Microsoft Paint. Save completed files as PDFs for even easier transportation and archiving.

8. Taking a camera to the beach

One grain of sand in the shutter or zoom mechanism, and it's toast. If you must shoot beachside, put the camera in a waterproof case or a plastic bag. Better yet, get a waterproof camera.

9. Leaving a laptop in the car

Thieves stake out hot parking spots and wait for fancy-pants business types to leave their laptop bags in the car, even just for a few minutes. All they have to is smash a window and grab it, and they're gone in 10 seconds flat. Or, maybe you thought you got smart, and you put your laptop in the boot, out of sight - too bad you waited until you got to the dodogy part of town to do it, where the bad guys watched you every step of the way. Boots are even easier to pop open than windows. Stow your rig in the boot before you embark on your trip. Better yet, take the laptop with you, or try a travel lock.

10. Keeping all of your email

Every email message you've ever received is sitting in your inbox in chronological order. Congratulations! You now have an unassailable historical record of your communications...and a guarantee that you will never find anything of any importance whatsoever. Use folders or tags to organise your inbox, and be liberal with the Delete key.

11. Failing to learn keyboard shortcuts

Did you know that some people out there still aren't aware that Ctrl-C is copy and Ctrl-V is paste? I'm not saying you need to learn every Alt-Ctrl-Shift combo, but the more Alt-F4s you pick up, the sooner you can go home. Drop the mouse and try a few essential shortcuts for shutting down a PC and more, and several specific shortcuts for Windows 7.

12. Installing too much junk

Why is Windows so slow? You installed three instant messaging clients and seven browser toolbars on your machine. Once some of this stuff is installed, the damage is already done, as many of these apps leave behind traces that are impossible to eliminate. You can try uninstalling as much as possible, but a clean Windows setup is often your best bet.

13. Discarding receipts

Murphy's Law dictates that consumer products will always break immediately after the warranty has expired - but once in a while they break sooner. You might be able to get the thing fixed...if you saved your receipt. Keep a folder next to your medical records. Once you collect some receipts, you can scan and organise them with the Neat Receipts system.

NEXT PAGE: Waiting in line

  1. The worst tech bad-habits
  2. Printing everything
  3. Waiting in line
  4. Ignoring the specs

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