It’s a new year—a time to reflect and refocus. As you set your intentions, consider taking time to declutter your devices and clean up your digital footprint. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a checklist of simple actions you can take to declutter your digital life.
Clean Up Your Devices
- Update software and turn on automatic updates: Keeping software up-to-date helps minimize your exposure to security risks. Software updates also ensure that your device performs at optimum speed! You’ll be able to quickly update your applications and software and turn on automatic updates in the “settings” on your device or application.
- Bring in back-up: Storing your personal information on your device creates a lucrative target for hackers. Be sure that you back-up sensitive information to a secure hard drive. Having a second storage spot for photos and emails ensures that you won’t lose your valuable files if your device is hacked or wiped.
- Delete unwanted apps: If your device is full of apps you never use, be sure to get rid of them during your digital declutter. Check the app permissions in your settings to see which apps have access to your location, photos, contacts, etc. If you aren’t comfortable with an application having access to your whereabouts, adjust your settings accordingly. Also keep in mind that malicious apps can take personal information without your knowledge. Be sure to check reviews from other app users before downloading anything.
- Unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters: Remove clutter from your email by unsubscribing from automated emails that you no longer wish to receive. This reduces your exposure to potential phishing scams.
- Delete old files: Storing files you don’t need uses up vital space and slows down your device. Sort through your files and figure out which files you can get rid of. Things like text messages can use up a lot of valuable space.
- Get rid of unused browser extensions: Any inactive browser extensions should be removed in your cyber clean-up. Malicious browser extensions can track your internet activity. Getting rid of excess extensions mitigates your cybersecurity risk.
Update Privacy & Security
- Enable MFA: Many accounts are hacked because of weak or stolen passwords. Multi-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security on top of your original password. Adding a second layer of protection can help stop an attack.
- Use a password manager: In addition to MFA, we urge you to use a password manager. Password managers not only help you remember all your passwords, it can also help create complex, unique passwords.
- Adjust your social media settings: Check your social media privacy settings to ensure that you are aware of exactly who has access to your profile and posts.
- Consider a VPN: Using public WiFi comes with a host of potential cybercrime risk. Public networks are not secure and can expose your personal information to cybercriminals. Using a Virtual Private Network offers you a secure, untraceable connection wherever you use public WiFI.