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BBB Trends: Time for some very important spring cleaning — Clean out your digital data

By Sandra Guile
Better Business Bureau

If your closet is feeling a little cluttered, imagine the ‘stuff’ that’s on your digital device? Perhaps the cleaning bug has bit and fortunately, springtime is a great time to add “digital spring cleaning” to your to-do list.

There are several easy steps that everyone can do that will go a long way in tidying up digital disorder.

Keep a Clean Machine

Update the software on any devices connected to the Internet to the most current malware protection program. This will protect them against a host of different computer viruses.

Delete any unused apps on your mobile devices and update and review any app permissions from the ones you use frequently.

Lockdown Your Login

Make sure your connection is secure by using a two-factor authentication any critical accounts – like your email, banking, or social media accounts. Create a strong password using a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to secure your Wi-Fi router.

More importantly, store all of your passwords separately in a safe place away from your computer or mobile devices.

Update and Back it Up

Once you’ve protected the important files, updated the software and created secure passwords, tend to your digital records just as you would for paper files by properly disposing of sensitive materials such as hard drives, disks, and memory cards. Back up old messages to an archive or cloud storage then unsubscribe from newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read. To clear out additional space, backup or delete old or less-flattering photos from online photo albums.

Additional tips to continue your spring clean-up can be found on staysafeonline.org. Get additional cybersecurity tips by visiting bbb.org/cybersecurity.

Sandra Guile is the Public Relations Specialist for BBB. She promotes BBB’s message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, media relations, press releases, web content, and other written materials. Your BBB is located at 1 East 4th Street Suite 600 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 – to reach the office, call (513) 421-3015.

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