Clear the Digital Cobwebs

Mother and Daughter on ipad in kitchen doing cyber security

We are all familiar with fall cleaning our homes, but have you considered clearing out the cobwebs in your digital life? A good digital cleaning can help keep your devices and information secure year-round. It can also help improve the speed and performance of the devices and services that you use. 

Delete/Deactivate old online accounts

Many online shopping sites and social media outlets require you to enter, store and sometimes share information about yourself. Check privacy settings in the accounts that you do use and remove access to sensitive information that is not necessary. Some websites also offer the option of checking out as a guest which minimizes data retained about you.   

Delete your old email and social media accounts that you no longer use, as they are most likely filled with personal details. Deleting those accounts reduces your digital footprint.

Web Browser Settings

Many browsers can store your passwords and/or autofill settings which accumulates your data over time. The practice of storing your passwords in a browser can also be very risky. Take a few minutes to check your browser settings, clear out old data, and ensure your browser’s settings are not set to store passwords..

Cyber Security

Declutter your Devices

Most of us have apps we no longer use in our smartphones, tablets and laptops. Delete unused apps and keep the others updated, especially the operating system on your devices. The benefits include increased storage space and prolonged battery life. Also make sure your device requires a pin, fingerprint or face-id to log-in to ensure basic security is in place.

Social Media

Review your privacy settings, location settings, friends, connections and posts to make sure you are still comfortable with them. Delete accounts from social media sites that you no longer use. Also, while you are in there, consider changing your password if it hasn’t been changed in a while.

Check your storage devices

It is easy to accumulate CD’s, DVD’s, hard drives, and USB drives that have videos and photos from years ago. Consider transferring those photos and videos to a storage device that’s used often and securely dispose of those devices that are no longer needed. Follow US-CERT’s guidance on how to securely clean the data off of these items before properly recycling them. Many shredders, including those rated for home use, can shred CDs and DVDs.