How To Improve Your PC’s Performance By Cleaning Out Duplicate And Junk Files

As your hard drive fills up, your computer will continue to take longer to find and access files and programs. This, in addition to basic processes like indexing taking longer, can be very annoying.
The good news is that this is an easy problem to solve. In fact, all that you need to effectively, and automatically, get rid of these unnecessary files is to take advantage of Windows’ own inbuilt clean-up solutions. Here is what you should know about improving PC performance through duplicate and junk file removal.

Remove duplicate photos and video files

You can go from folder to folder to get rid of any files that you don’t need. This includes duplicate files. While doing this manually, by right-clicking the given file and choosing the “delete” option, is time-consuming, it will go a long way towards speeding up your computer.

If going through all your files is too much to handle, you can choose to use software that is specifically designed to search for and then delete any duplicate files. There are free versions of this type of software online. The fact that most of them have easy-to-follow instructions makes them ideal for use.

Use Windows in-built cleanup functions

Windows usually comes with applications designed to create space in an overwhelmed computer. They do this by emptying out the recycle bin. They also get rid of any temporary files and rarely-used files and programs in the system. What’s even better is that instead of automatically deleting these files, something that can lead to some of your useful but rarely-used files getting deleted, these programs usually find the files and then give you the option of deciding which ones to keep and which ones to delete.

To activate the cleaning process, all you need is to find the disk cleanup function. The fastest way to get this done is by taking advantage of the search feature of Windows. Simply type disk cleanup and then select the “Clear Disk Space by deleting unnecessary files” option. This will launch a wizard that will search for files that are the best candidates for deletion. It will then display the results in a window. If you see any file that you would like to keep, simply uncheck the box that is in front of the file name. After you are done deciding on which files to keep, select the “Clean up system files” option. This will automatically delete all the unneeded files. It will create more space on your computer, something that will help to improve the overall performance of your system.

Fitness Tracker Users Should Be Concerned About Their Privacy

Millions of Americans wear a fitness tracker on a regular basis. Of course, these gadgets are designed to track everything from steps taken to calories burned and more. High-end fitness trackers from Fitbit, Garmin, and others even track a user’s heart rate throughout the day. Consumers love these devices because they keep track of various health metrics in near-automatic fashion. However, few users seem to consider the privacy and security risks associated with the average fitness tracker.

Fitness Trackers: Strap Them On and Move OnĀ 

Simply put, individuals tend to don a fitness tracker and forget about it until the device requires charging. Dedicated users will check their health stats on the device or through its companion mobile app. Far too many people fail to realize how much data these devices collect each and every moment they’re worn. Most people care about this data for themselves because it helps them track their overall fitness. For outside parties, such health-related information may seem like a treasure trove of personal data.

Data, Data, and More Data!

Just think about how much data a fitness tracker stores. When a user first uses their tracker, they must connect to it via an Android or iOS app. In these apps, users supply their email address and basic personal information. This includes anything from age and gender to height and weight. Each fitness tracker then maintains a running ledger of an individual’s activities throughout the day. As previously mentioned, included metrics range from steps taken to calories consumed, heart rate, and much more.

The best fitness trackers allow users to plug even more data into the app and associated fitness tracker. For instance, Fitbit and Garmin devices allow their users to connect daily food intake information. Most devices will track when a person goes to sleep and when they wake up as well. All of this information is necessary to provide the best experience for users, and there’s no debate about that. Unfortunately, so much personal information about a single person can be used against them in worst-case scenarios.

Not All Companies Implement The Same Security Measures With Fitness Trackers and Apps

Every fitness tracker and associated app stores a user’s profile and information on a server. While these servers are often secure and protected, they aren’t impervious to hacking. Many people could benefit in nefarious ways by having access to health information on millions of people. Even healthcare companies, if given access to this info, could use it against individuals. Health data is one of the biggest targets for identity thieves and hackers today, but not all fitness tracking companies are protecting data as they should.

For example, not all companies encrypt the data they’re sending from the fitness tracker to the mobile app and then onto the company’s servers. Such data could be intercepted at various points, and unencrypted data couldn’t be easier to access. Another issue revolves around the MAC address of individual fitness trackers. At this point, most devices hold onto a persistent MAC address that never changes. Nefarious entities could track a user’s location by latching onto this MAC address, which is a completely different and problematic issue.

Is wearing a fitness tracker worth the privacy risks? For most people…Probably.

None of this information should deter an individual from using a fitness tracker if doing so benefits them in some manner. In the end, users simply need to realize the security concerns involved with using these devices. Current fitness tracker users should check into how the manufacturer collects, transmits, and stores users’ sensitive personal information. Every user should know how their data is used and which entities can access that information. Without a doubt, fitness trackers are useful devices, but plenty of privacy concerns exist today.