Spring Clean Your Digital Life

Every Spring people talk about spring cleaning their homes. The purging of unused items, organizing, and deep cleaning of the house is a great way to start this new season but what about tidying up the things others don’t see? Things like your email inbox, your computer’s storage files, and your online security measures?

As a family in Trend Micro’s Digital Joneses, our challenge of the month was to spring clean our digital life. I didn’t know where to start. With thousands of pictures stored online, even more unread emails in my inbox, and so many files with contents that are a mystery to me I was overwhelmed. Thankfully, Trend Micro has created a digital spring cleaning checklist. Being an avid to-do list maker and checklist lover this made me very excited :)

The first task that I wanted to do was to clean out my inbox. I have over 9,000 emails in my inbox folder and over 3500 of those haven’t been opened. I have been trying to go through it and either delete or sort emails but it’s a daunting task. Looking over the checklist I saw a few more things I wanted to do when it came to my inbox. One suggestion from Trend Micro was to delete the attachments from my emails. Another task on the list was to delete any emails that had password or account information. It’s a great way to keep would be hackers from getting confidential information.

The next step was to go through my web browser history. This is something that I have never done before. The checklist also suggested that I go through my bookmarks and delete ones I don’t need anymore. This wasn’t too hard since I don’t really use bookmarks that often.

After this I needed to sort through my documents. The checklist suggested sorting them into three categories- delete {documents we don’t need}, confidential {documents that need to be secured with a password}, and important {documents that should be backed up}. I had a lot of old documents that I didn’t need anymore so I was able to delete them. I only had a couple things that were confidential. Most of my documents are just things I wanted to keep {like pictures} so I need to back them up. That is still not crossed off on my list. Programs that are unused need to be deleted, too but I didn’t have any programs to delete since I only download what I need.

The next steps include running scans on the computer. I used to do this often since I’m used to my computers running slow and I have found that running troubleshooting and maintenance scans make it run faster. My new computer is running fine so I skipped this step.

One of the last steps is to make sure your digital life is secure by changing your passwords. It’s recommended that passwords be changed at least every three months. This is something that I often forget to do on a regular basis but probably one of the most important steps in this whole process. Trouble remembering multiple logins and passwords? Trend Micro has a product that will manage website passwords and login IDs in one secure location so you only have to remember one password!

Once your digital life is clean and your house is clean, imagine how amazing you will feel! Find out more about the Digital Joneses here.

(Disclosure: I am receiving technology and software as a member of the Digital Joneses blogger study but all thoughts are my own.)

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