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Spring Cleaning your Digital Life to Protect your Data

Spring Cleaning your Digital Life to Protect your Data

Spring has sprung and it’s an optimal time to declutter your digital life. Besides the promise of order and ease in finding what you need, cleaning up your data offers unique protection from the growing lists of new cyber threats. Spring cleaning your data isn’t nearly as painful as hosing off the lawn furniture or dusting the baseboards. There are easy ways to make a big impact. Set aside a few minutes and tackle a few tasks every day this month. Here’s a list to get you started:

Out with the Old

Rid your drawers, boxes, and cabinets of old, outdates, never-to-be-used-again devices, USB drives, and CDs/DVDs. As we see on a daily basis, these physical storage methods don’t last forever. Data saved on these mediums should be backed up in a way (or ways) that will last the test of time. If you do decide to throw out devices, ensure you’ve wiped the data clean instead of just deleting it. Don’t stop with ridding yourself of old digital remnants that are physical. Old email and unused social media accounts are invitations for hackers and cyber criminals. Follow the steps needed to delete or at least deactivate these accounts instead of allowing them to lie dormant.

Clean and Update your Devices

Clear out any dust that has accumulated around desktops and larger machines. Running faster and harder than ever, today’s computers can overheat easily, which can result in massive data loss. A vacuum rather than compressed air is recommended to pull dirt and dust out of the machine rather than risk pushing it further into the vent system. After you’ve cleaned the outside, focus on the inside of your device. Run software updates and full system scans. You should be backing up data on a regular basis but if you haven’t implemented a backup plan, now’s the time to start!

Decluttter your Data

Since the rise of massive storage in hard drives, it’s not uncommon to fall into the trap of data hoarding. There are a few simple tips to get your data collection under control. Archive emails you’ve decided to keep to compress files. Empty trash and download folders. Run one of several apps to find and delete duplicate files. In some cases, hanging on to excessive data can actually cost you money. Rethink the purpose and methods for data storage. Make sure your data and its organization works for you.

Your return on the investment of a few hours decluttering your digital life will be felt almost immediately. No one particularly enjoys spring cleaning but it’s an excellent time to renew and realign your strategies with goals. Incorporate these best practices into your everyday habits and you’ll find the tasks to stay organized will get easier with time. In addition to offering you peace of mind and ease of use, a tidy digital existence is among the best defenses available to cyber threats.

We’d love to hear your tips for digital spring cleaning. Leave us a comment on Facebook or tweet us today.

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