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Keep Clean with Cyber Hygiene in 2019

Keeping Clean with Digital Hygiene in 2019

Maintaining your cyber hygiene is a proactive way to ensure your computer runs efficiently, endures the test of time, and preserves your data. Cyber hygiene doesn’t require a professional and anyone can practice these series of steps to maintain the health of a device while also shoring up online security. Establishing a routine is the best way to make sure these practices become a regular part of your daily, weekly, and yearly work.

Why do you need to practice cyber hygiene?

When the clutter builds in our home or office, it provides a visual reminder that cleaning is needed to reestablish order. Over time, computers and software programs accumulate clutter in the form of fragmented files and outdated programs. While problematic, this clutter is unseen. Software programs may remind you to update but fail to follow-through with deleting old files. Freeware and browser add-ons can easily accumulate to slow down your speed without providing any benefits because you no longer access them.

Cyber Hygiene Checklist

Start tackling your cyber hygiene to-do list by establishing the components you’ll need to clean, reorganize, and refresh. For most people, this includes: hardware, software, and applications. After a basic sweep of your devices, here’s what you’ll want to add to your cyber hygiene routine: 1) Update your privacy and security settings. To make the most of these changes, ensure you know the difference between digital privacy and cybersecurity. 2) Add two-factor authentication to your accounts and apps. Consider a password manager to protect your data and organize your passwords. 3) Create a bulletproof backup plan. While we’ve written before that your backup might need a backup, good digital hygiene practices also include deleting old, outdated backups that are no longer needed. The rise of free cloud backup systems has caused some users to create partial backups on servers and within apps that they no longer remember. This all-too-common practice leaves data vulnerable to hackers and identity thefts. 4) Grab your credit card statement to audit your digital services that are set to auto renew. It’s possible that you aren’t using these services anymore. Not only are your dollars going down the drain, but your devices might be bloated unnecessarily with software, updates, and even excessive emails you don’t need. 5) Pass on good hygiene habits. Although the impact of cyber leaks and attacks are felt by all of us, the basic tenants of cyber hygiene and solid cybersecurity practices remain largely untaught to entry level employees or even our teens-who are preparing to launch into an adulthood hinged on this digital age. After you’ve established your own digital hygiene practices, pass on the knowledge by teaching others in your home, office, or family how to make the most of your digital life by keeping it clean, orderly, and efficient.
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