Is It Time to Declutter Your Devices?

July 24, 2018

Do you have a “virtual junk drawer?” A smartphone full of apps you haven’t opened in months or emails you no longer need? Your cyber clutter not only uses up valuable space on your device but it could also expose your personal data to cyber hackers. Here are some tips on how to digitally declutter your devices:

Keep a clean machine: Ensure all software on internet-connected devices – including PCs, smartphones and tablets – is up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.

Lock down your login: Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Begin decluttering by fortifying your online accounts and enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.

Declutter your mobile life: Most of us have apps we no longer use and some that need updating. Delete unused apps and keep others current, including the operating system on your mobile devices.

Do a digital file purge: Perform a review of your online files. Tend to digital records, PCs, phones and any device with storage just as you do for paper files.

Get started by doing the following:

  • Clean up your email: Save only those emails you really need and unsubscribe to email you no longer need/want to receive.
  • Back it up: Copy important data to a secure cloud site or another computer or hard drive where it can be safely stored. Password protect backup drives. Always back up your files before getting rid of a device, too.

Own your online presence: Review the privacy and security settings on websites you use to ensure they’re at your comfort level for sharing. It’s OK to limit how and with whom you share information.