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60 Mins of Tech Tips to Do in the Hour the Clocks Go Back

The clocks go back this weekend and guess what that means… dark nights, that’s what!

Ok, so Christmas is firmly on the way and it’ll be horrid outside by about 4pm but there’s always a positive side… at least this Sunday morning you’ll get an extra hour of sleep.

But why waste it in the land of nod? Why not do something far more constructive with that hour and use it to get your technology ready for the winter.

We’ve broken down six of the key tasks you can do into 10-minute chunks, perfect for that extra 60 minutes at your disposal.

Task One Recharge your batteries

You wouldn’t take your car out in the winter without checking the battery, lights or anti-freeze. So don’t head off into dark and cold nights without ensuring your mobile handset is fit for an emergency should you get stuck.

If you’re constantly charging your phone because the battery runs down faster than it should, then consider swapping out the battery for a new one.

You might also want to invest in a charging adaptor for the car. Plug the Monster Mobile Powerplug Dual USB 700 Car Charger into your cigarette lighter and you can simply plug in the cable that came with your phone to keep it powered up. Obviously, it won’t work if your car battery goes flat, but you should be keeping an eye on that too.

Task Two Backup your files

You shouldn’t need a reminder to backup precious files, music and movies. A hard drive failure on any of your gadgets can happen at any time. But in the winter there’s far more chance of an accident such as dropping your phone in the snow.

Apple’s iCloud allows you to wirelessly backup data from iOS devices such as an iPhone 5, iPad or iPad mini straight to its own servers.

With your computer, whether that’s a PC or Mac, you can backup to an external hard drive or use an online service such as Dropbox, which gives you a level of free storage and than allows you to add more on a paid-for subscription basis.

Task Three Check your security protection

With the clocks going back and the turn to towards winter, many people will be using their computers a lot more. After all, who wants to venture out in the bad weather. And that means you could be prone to far more scams, viruses, spyware and intrusions – especially if you’re shopping more online to avoid the crowds pushing and shoving on Christmas present-finding trips.

The latest Norton Internet Security 2012 allows users to safeguard three machines while Norton 360 version 6.0 includes 5GB of online backup space.

Task Four Upgrade to Windows 8

Microsoft’s newest operating system is just out, offering a whole new way of interacting with your computer.

A faster, more optimised Windows experience, Windows 8 lets you multitask with two apps side-by-side and use your Windows mobile device alongside your computing experience.

There’s a range of new laptops and desktops taking advantage of Windows 8. You can view some of them here.

Task Five Stay warm – and safe – at home

With the clocks rewinding comes falling temperatures and that means you may be looking to switch on that Electric Blanket. According to the Electrical Safety Council, you should replace any blanket more than 10 years old and thoroughly check any electric blanket you’ve removed from storage.

Check for damp patches, exposed wires or elements and damage to the plug or cord. It could also be time to invest in an extra heater such as an oil-filled radiator or the Dyson Precision Heater just in case you have a boiler or central heating breakdown.

A new Coffee Maker might also help to warm you up on the cold winter mornings that lie ahead.

Task Six Update EVERYTHING and delete where applicable

Whether it’s your Xbox console that you’ll now have more time to play with, Mac computer, PC or smart device, ensure it’s receiving all the latest software and security updates. They can simply do so automatically by switching the function on in their settings.

You can also ensure all your iPad or Android apps are fully up-to-date and use the time to go through all the software you have installed on each piece of your tech to ensure you still need it. Removing apps, eBooks, programs, files and more will free up space that you can use for other things and also help optimise the running performance of your computers and tablets.

You might also want to invest in one of the new range of Apple iPods ready for all the extra use on those dark nights once the clocks have gone back.

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