Digital hoarding is the result of an increasing compulsion to hang on to more and more artifacts of our digital lives. Digital packrats pose problems in both the workplace and private setting. Leaving old accounts unsecured and failing to backup large units of unorganized data are just the start to problems associated with digital hoarding. If you find yourself overwhelmed by e-mail and saving the 3rd and 4th file versions, here are 5 tips to curb your hoarding habit:
1. Regain Control of Your Email
Overflowing and unorganized email inboxes are among the leading causes of digital hoarding. If you have more than 1,000 emails sitting in your inbox, it’s time to take action. Take a few hours to create a simple organization system and consider apps like Mailstrom to make a big dent in your stockpile of unread (or read) messages.
2. Reconsider Unlimited Storage Options
There’s no shortage of online storage options for your photos and documents. While backing up your valuable data should always be a priority, reconsider the necessity of unlimited storage capacity as a primary factor in selecting the best service for your needs. A small investment of time in organizing and culling your files will allow you to settle on a reasonable storage option that matches your needs.
3. Recognize You Aren’t Alone
Digital hoarding introduces significant threats to cyber security in the workplace. If you are in a management position, encourage your staff to purge old files and streamline the organization of company data. An ever increasing volume of e-mails is not in your imagination. According to the Radicati Group, businesses sent more than 89 billion emails in 2012. By the end of 2016, businesses sent an estimated 143 billion emails. Work as a team to streamline communication and minimize the volume of emails to process.
4. Delete Old Accounts
Digital hoarding also extends to the creation and abandonment of multiple online accounts. Hints to these ancient accounts can often be found in spam folders or through a quick audit. Old, unused accounts are problematic because they may be exploited for overused passwords or hacked without knowledge of the user. Take a couple of hours to delete and deactivate old accounts.
5. Keep It Simple
Cleaning up digital hoarding stockpiles is a daunting task. It can be tempting to create elaborate and complicated reorganization strategies. Overly complicated strategies aren’t sustainable. Take some time to evaluate your typical process for handling files, deciding what to save, and deleting unnecessary data. Keep your approach simple and easy to maintain.
Digital hoarding can’t be reversed overnight. It’s often the result of years of saving too much data and failing to organize files. Knowing the dangers of being a digital packrat can motivate us all to find more effective strategies to organize files and find them when needed.
If you’d like our help in recovering your lost files-whether they be organized or not, submit a help request today.