Freshen up your digital space with a spring cleaning

Last Published Date: 
May 11, 2018

You can speed up your devices and secure personal information by taking a few simple steps to clean up your digital space. Update passwords, back up and delete unneeded files, and check privacy settings. Digital devices, including phones, iPads, laptops, kindles, and even televisions, cars, and baby monitors store personal data.

Below are three easy “digital spring cleaning” activities you can do now:

  1. Update your logins and passwords – Though this may seem simple, your login information and passwords are the key to so much of your personal information. From bank accounts to healthcare reports, a huge amount of personal and private information is stored online and potentially vulnerable to cyber threats. Review your accounts to make sure you use strong and unique passwords and have the strictest authentication options. Are you using the same password for multiple sites? That could be the fastest way for a criminal to score a jackpot. Choose a unique password for every device and website. Check out the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Creating a Password Tip Card for more information on how to  choose strong passwords.

  2. Clean up the files stored on your devices – Just as you would shred paper files yearly, do not forget to clean out your digital files as well. Back up important files and pictures on a secure hard drive or cloud. Delete old and unused files, downloads, apps, pictures, and emails from your devices. Also, make sure you permanently delete the files by using a program that wipes them off the device’s hard drive.  

  3. Review and update privacy and security settings on your accounts – Many of us select privacy and security settings when initially creating an account and then never look at them again. Right now is a great time to go through your accounts to check that you have enabled the strongest possible security settings. Be sure that only the people you want to see your information on social media sites, and no one else, are able to. The Online Privacy Tip Card from STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™ provides more information about protecting your privacy online.

Find these digital spring-cleaning tips and more with the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) and the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Digital Declutter Checklist and the Do a Digital Spring Cleaning and Clear Out Cyber Clutter tip sheet