Digital Spring Cleaning

How to safely tidy up your digital life this season

By: Kelly Trevino

Spring has sprung, and all know what that means: spring cleaning. This may be a good time to clean out your desk, organize paperwork or deep clean the office – but what about cleaning up your digital life?

This season, Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving the heart of Texas recommends backing up all of your important files. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by going through your device and deleting files you don’t need, uninstalling programs you don’t use and emptying your recycling bin. But remember, before you start swiping clean your devices, make sure you back up anything important to your computer, the Cloud or an external hard drive.

To ensure you’re safely managing and tidying up your digital life, BBB offers the following advice:

• Keep software updated. Make sure all devices have the most recent software updates installed. This includes security software, Web browsers, document readers, operating systems and any other software you use regularly. Install anti-virus software on your devices and keep them up-to-date.

• Clean up your mobile device. Delete unused apps, and keep others updated. Not only will you reduce clutter, you’ll have more storage space for data and a longer battery life on your device.

• Create better passwords. Passwords like “123456” or “qwerty” are among some of the most common passwords used by the general population. Longer passwords and those that combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols provide better protection.

• De-clutter your email inbox. Delete emails older than a year, and create and label folders for emails to stay organized. Delete messages in your spam folder, and unsubscribe from emails you don’t open. Move important messages to an archive.

• Check your privacy settings on your social media sites. Review the privacy and security settings on websites you use to be sure that they remain set to your comfort level for sharing to your friends or the public.

For more important business advice, visit our website at www.bbb.org/central-texas under the “For Businesses” section, or our independent blog at www.watchyourbuck.com.

Kelly Trevino is the regional director for the Corpus Christi/Victoria area of Better Business Bureau serving the heart of Texas. She is available for media interviews and speaking engagements. You can reach her at 361-945-7352 or ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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