We are using more technology than ever, and by bringing more technology into the home, your chance of being exposed to a cyber threat increases.
10 Technology Spring Cleaning Tips
Technology is a big part of our daily lives. From the moment the phone alarm goes off in the morning to the ...
Technology is a big part of our daily lives. From the moment the phone alarm goes off in the morning to the entertainment on our TVs at night, we can do so much with our devices. With all the use we give devices, it is important to also maintain and clean them regularly to help keep them in optimal running condition. Dusting and disinfecting, removing apps, clearing cache and installing updates are a few simple ways to keep your technology up to date. Show your tech some love with these ten tips to refresh technology this spring.
- Clean up computer desktop
From shortcuts and pictures to old downloads, chances are your computer desktop is probably messy. Keeping your desktop clean is key if you want a fast-running computer. Taking the time to clean your desktop improves your computer’s response time. You can do this by moving documents from your desktop to the “Documents” folder located in your computer’s file explorer. It’s a good idea to remove everything except your most frequently used files and apps from your desktop. This helps keep your desktop clean and organized and your computer running fast.
- Review app permission and privacy settings
Protect and control your personal information online by reviewing app permissions and privacy settings. This is especially important to do on social media sites. Reviewing these settings helps you stay in control of what you share and who can see them. Make safe choices about what you want to be public. You might not even realize what data apps are using or what details are being shared on social media. Review and update your settings for Facebook, Instagram and any other social media website and app you use. Keep yourself safe from data breaches, hackers and people with malicious intent by only sharing what you’re comfortable with.
- Clean up email
In 2020, it was reported that more than 300 billion emails were sent and received each day. With the high volume of emails people receive daily, it’s no surprise that most people have hundreds of unopened emails. If you’re swamped with notifications, take time this spring to clean out your inbox and unsubscribe from email lists you’re not interested in. By cleaning up your email, you can minimize spam and unwanted emails, find important information and feel less stressed. Nothing is better than having a clean inbox.
- Review web browser bookmarks
Just like cleaning up your email, don’t forget to review your web browser bookmarks. Your bookmarks are the web pages you save for later, typically found under the address bar on your browser. Bookmarks can get cluttered without you realizing it because they only show around the first 10 bookmarks before you have to go to a drop-down list of them. Open your full bookmarks menu and delete anything you don’t need anymore. With the remaining bookmarks, you can organize them into relevant folders like “recipes,” “social media,” “frequently visited websites” and more. You might find yourself being more productive once you’ve cleaned up your bookmarks and can easily find important links.
- Organize and delete files on devices
Not only does electronic file management help keep your computer organized, but it also helps clear up space as you get rid of documents you don’t need. Start by cleaning up your downloads folder. The number of files there might surprise you, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve cleared out space. Once you’ve gotten rid of unneeded files, arrange the files left into strategic folders to help you stay organized.
- Backup your files (external hard drive or cloud backup)
March 31st is World Backup Day, a day dedicated to protecting your data and preparing yourself against data loss and theft. A data backup is the process of creating a copy of data and storing it somewhere else. Backups can restore the original data in the event it’s lost or corrupted. There are two main ways to back up your files: external hard drive and cloud backup. Using physical or digital storage frees up space on your device to store important documents.
- Clear your DVR
Don’t forget to delete things from your DVR queue to clear up space for new recordings. DVR space is limited and can fill up quicker than expected. You can probably delete the weeks-old reality TV recordings you’ve already watched, the movie you recorded months ago but haven’t watched yet and the football game you know the outcome of. If you’re subscribed to All West.tv, 100 hours of Cloud DVR are included, with the option to upgrade to 200 or 600 hours for an additional monthly cost if you need more space.
- Update passwords
Having strong passwords protects you from hacking and malware attacks. Check out our blog on the dos and don’ts of creating passwords. You also want to make sure you don’t use passwords on more than one account. When you have different and unique passwords, it will make it harder for someone to access your accounts. According to a survey conducted by PCMag, an American computer magazine, 35% of people never change their passwords and only do so if they’re prompted to. Give yourself an easy, immediate security boost by regularly changing your passwords.
- Set up two-factor authentication
Paired with strong passwords, two-factor authentication helps keep your accounts protected. Two-factor authentication, also referred to as 2FA, is the process of using a second method to verify your identity when logging into an account. 2FA is an essential cybersecurity tool that adds an extra layer of security. Even the strongest passwords can be guessed or stolen. Using 2FA for important accounts, such as online banking, email and social media, will help keep your accounts protected.
- Properly dispose of old electronics
Electronic waste, commonly referred to as e-waste, is the most rapidly growing waste problem in the world. Recycling, donating or selling broken or old electronics helps create a more sustainable world. Instead of cluttering your home or a landfill, you can recycle or donate your old laptop that won’t turn on or your iPhone from a few years ago. Staples offers recycling services for electronics, rechargeable batteries and ink. Make sure to completely wipe and reset devices before recycling them. A quick Google search for “electronic recycling near me” will help you find a recycling or donation center local to you.
This spring, take time to give your technology and accounts a refresh. Cleaning up your devices not only helps maintain your tech so they can last longer, but it also helps you stay safer in the digital world.