Like a giant cyclone, the tech industry is sweeping new ideas up and spitting some of them back out so fast it can be hard to keep up. The whirlwind industry has been at full strength over the past few decades and each year new trends appear while old trends die. So, to start the year off right, we decided to name the top outdated tech trends that companies really need to let die in 2016.

Preloaded Software

When a new PC is purchased, the buyer can reasonably expect the item to arrive without any broken or missing parts and no security flaws. However, both Dell and Lenovo failed to keep their computers safe in 2015. Lenovo dealt with a lawsuit because they admitted to delivering computers with pre-installed software that left their customers susceptible to bugs. Dell had to apologize when they downloaded a tech support feature on their computers that opened them up for hackers.

Clearly this trend of shady, pre-installed software has to end. This should also include the many programs that automatically try to download toolbars and Trojans if the user isn’t paying attention.

Passwords

If you don’t have a number of passwords that have evolved for every individual company’s password regulations, then you are lucky. Passwords are messy and they don’t even stop sophisticated hackers, making them far more of a hassle than they are worth.

Image via Flickr by Lulu Höller

Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all trying to shift over to identifiers, like fingerprints or facial recognition for a more secure and simpler way to log in to an account or device. Yahoo admits that the username/password system is too complex and offers little protection for the user, announcing their shift to push notifications in upcoming apps.

Smartphone Absorption

It’s not uncommon to see people so absorbed in their phones that they aren’t answering their kids’ questions or are completely failing to recognize the cashier in front of them as another human worthy of eye contact. This nose-in-a-screen habit is starting to become unpopular as everyone is slowly coming to grips with the idea that maybe technology is disruptive and pulls you away from experiencing the real world.

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If you don’t think you spend a lot of time on your own phone doing meaningless things out of habit, download the QualityTime app to track how much time you spend on any given app each day.

People check their email on the bus, text friends in the grocery store line and look up random facts at the dinner table to answer group questions. Anywhere people are waiting, phones are out and heads are down; no one is enjoying inner peace or striking up a conversation with a stranger.

Phone use is causing neck and joint problems, even for young kids. Screen overuse is hurting eyes and disrupting sleep patterns. Even WebMD recognizes smartphone addiction as a very real problem that is not easy to shift away from. For 2016, it would be a great idea for companies, professionals, and individuals to shift away from their smartphone absorption that occurs during nearly all hours of the day.

It looks like 2016 is shaping up to be a great year. We’re sure to see some great things develop, and let’s hope we aren’t too nostalgic to let go of the trends weighing us down.