Spring Cleaning? Don't Forget Your Digital Life (Checklist Included)

When it comes to spring cleaning, nowadays, more things need attention besides removing dust bunnies and cleaning windows. In today’s technology-reliant world, making an annual plan for spring cleaning your digital life is also important. The truth is that we all have one that needs just as much spring cleaning as our homes. When we get caught up in downloading apps or filling out online order forms, we need to remember that we have a bunch of sensitive information, like credit card numbers, that we are sharing. A digital life cleanup also ensures that we are taking steps to make sure all our digital activities are safe and protected from potential hackers or misuse. 

What Is Considered Part of Your Digital Life?

Your digital life consists of anything and everything you do online. From receiving emails and using apps to interacting with smart appliances and WiFi networks, they all need attention at least once a year. 

Digital Life Decluttering Checklist

1. Email Inbox
Too many emails can be a significant distraction and highly overwhelming. Make a plan to rid yourself of any unnecessary messages this spring. Organize your email with folders for your messages that include work, finances, family, shopping, etc., so you can quickly move emails for proper storage. If you find way too many emails to organize, archive them so that you will have them handy if you ever need them but out of your daily email inbox. This will reduce clutter and stress and help you regroup your messages for a clean start.  

2. Unsubscribe from Unwanted Newsletters
Taking the time to unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters is a great way to declutter your digital life. Receiving fewer emails now means fewer emails to clutter your inbox later, which makes it a great practice to do each spring.

3. Eliminate Unused Apps
If we’re being honest – many of us don’t use many of the apps we download. Deleting unused apps will free up phone, tablet, and computer storage space. It also might be a good idea to remove any app that is taking too much of your time and causing you to be unproductive. 

4. Secure Your Passwords
Your passwords hold the key to your online activity, making it crucial that they are as secure as possible and hidden from prying eyes. Make your passwords strong, and do not use personal information others can access, such as your birthday or pet’s name. Also, make it a practice to change your passwords every spring to ensure your online accounts are safe and secure.

For a list of simple tips on how to create a strong password, click here


5. Secure Home WiFi System
An overlooked part of your digital life may be your home WiFi system. Remember to turn on the firewall, strengthen your system's encryption, and change your password frequently to avoid a security breach via your home WiFi system. Here are 5 Steps to Secure Your Home Wi-Fi System 

6. Back Up Important Files
All important documents should be backed up regularly to a USB Drive or the Cloud. If there is ever an issue with your device, you'll still have access to your documents and know they are secure. It also allows easy access when you need them quickly.  

7. Secure Smart Appliances
Many of today's homes have smart appliances that need to be as secure as possible. Be sure to secure all smart home features by making strong passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, updating them regularly, and monitoring and securing your home's WiFi network.  

8. Clean Up Your Social Media List
A major part of your digital life is your social media accounts. Facebook users should monitor all Facebook events to ensure they are still relevant and delete the ones that aren't so they don't receive irrelevant notifications. On LinkedIn, it is a good idea to clear out the pending invitations and your inbox for a clutter-free social media account. For Twitter accounts, monitor your timeline and unfollow those that are no longer relevant to streamline your social media experience. For a more in-depth look into safe practices on social media, click here.

9. Organize Your Desktop
Your digital life will be much more organized once you clear your desktop of unnecessary clutter. You can jumpstart this process by creating a folder on your desktop to store all the files. Then you can work on sorting those files when you have time to discard the ones that are no longer needed. 

Make Sure Your Digital Life is Organized and Secure with This Checklist

In addition to your regular spring cleaning chores, include organizing your digital life. Once you have uncluttered parts of your digital life, like important documents, emails, and social media accounts, your stress level will go down, and your productivity will go up. This digital cleanup also ensures that you look at all your passwords and double-check that all your personal information is secure and your online activities are safe from potential fraud and hackers. Plan this digital spring cleaning yearly to live your best online life. For additional information on connecting with confidence and navigating safely, check out our alerts and safeguards page. If you have any questions, please contact us; we're always here to help! 

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