Spring-cleaning usually consists of cleaning up the yard, airing out and doing a deep cleaning of the house, and preparing for the summer ahead.  In this digital age, there is one more thing we should consider for our spring-cleaning and that is a cyber declutter.   Like everything else in life, our digital life can get messy, emails/texts can pile up, software can get out of date, fields get lost, and things we no longer need linger.  A good digital cleaning can keep your devices functioning properly and fast and keep your information safe and secure.  Here are a few ideas to get your digital life cleaned up.

Review your online accounts:

  • Delete any you no longer use
  • Remove information that isn’t need anymore including credit card information or old documents in cloud storage

Update your devices:

  • Update any apps and operating systems on all internet-connected devices to reduce risks.
  • Delete unused apps

Tune up web browsers:

  • Check your web browser settings.  Clear out stored data such as old passwords and old autofill information.
  • Delete unused browsers

Lock down your login:

  • Use a password, passcode, fingerprint, or facial recognition to log into all of your devices.  Use the strongest authentication tools available.
  • Turn on multi-factor authentication (also known as two-step or two-factor verification)
  • Take an inventory of your passwords
  • Use a unique password for each account
  • Consider using a password manager to store and protect your passwords

Refresh your on-line presence.

  • Review and update your online profiles on social media
  • Review your privacy and security settings
  • Delete old photos, posts, etc.
  • Review friends on social networks
  • Manage your apps setting regarding location services, Bluetooth, microphone, and camera.

Back up your files: 

  • Make a complete backup of important files on a secure cloud, another computer, or external hard drive. Password protect backup drives.
  • Back up your files before disposing of a device.
  • Make sure you can retrieve your files from the back up.

Dispose of electronic devices securely:

  • Inventory your devices and media
  • Securely dispose of electronic information you no longer need – deleting it might not be enough to get rid of it.
  • Thoroughly wipe all electronic devices or have them shredded by a trusted vendor

If you are unsure about any of these actions, talk to your IT department at work or your trusted computer technician.