Spring Clean your Digital World

21 August 2020

As we acquire more digital information every day, it becomes crucial that we organise our digital world to safeguard information. Unauthorised access to your information could lead to your private files or accounts being accessed or even identity theft. To keep your private accounts and data safe, this spring we’re encouraging you to clean your digital world – at work, and at home!

Here are some quick tips to help you do a digital spring clean:

Backup your files.
Consider a secure cloud location or an external hard drive kept in a secure place.

Delete unused apps.
Some apps require large amounts of storage, can introduce new vulnerabilities, and may slow things down. The fewer apps you have, the more secure your system and your information.

Update all devices and apps.
Update all of the devices and apps you have and enable automatic updating whenever possible. Updates are important as they often include patches to security vulnerabilities. In addition, check that your antivirus subscription for your home devices is up to date.

Refresh your passwords.
In general, it is best practice not to use the same password for multiple accounts. If you are using the same passwords for multiple accounts, we recommend you change them so each account has a strong and unique password.

The website haveibeenpwned.com is a useful resource, and can help alert you of known account breaches associated to your email. You can also check how many times the passwords you use have been breached at haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords. Finally, enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible.

Review your digital files
Digital files include emails, digital records, and data/files on computers and mobile devices. Delete anything you don’t require, and backup any important data. Pay particular attention to any documents that contain sensitive information such as your date of birth or medical details, and ensure that they are stored in an appropriately secure location.

Don’t forget to check your sharing settings – have you shared a folder or location with someone who no longer requires access?

Review account settings.
Check the privacy and sharing settings of your social media accounts.

Make sure your bank accounts are configured to alert you whenever a transaction is made, especially for large purchases or money transfers. The sooner you spot fraudulent activity, the sooner you can stop it.

Declutter your browser.
Review add-ons or plugins installed in your browser and the permission settings. Do the plugins really need access to your location, passwords, or contact lists? If you no longer use certain plugins, or have privacy concerns about them, delete them.

If this seems like a lot to do, consider choosing just a few items, or try to check off one item per day or week. Every little step goes a long way towards protecting you and your information.

For more information contact IT support.