April – Spring Cleaning
April is here and so is spring, which means it’s the best time for cleaning! Your devices need as much cleaning up as the rest of your house, so during this month, we’ll talk to you about how to perform proper devices and information disposal.
Have you ever searched yourself online? This a very good way to see what’s out there and what others’ can see about you, and also to decide which things to get rid of because they might represent a damage to your reputation. Moreover, many of us get so busy and distracted with our daily activities that we tend to accumulate a lot of information that we don’t use or need on our devices, and that in the long term might even expose us. We recommend that periodically, you take some time off your schedule to check and clean your information and devices.
These are some of the tips we recommend you to follow during your Spring cleaning:
- Make sure you have good anti-virus software, run scans periodically and keep it up to date.
- Make several electronic copies of all your important files and any data you don’t want to lose; have everything backed up.
- Check periodically that all your programs are updated, and uninstall those you never use, to keep your machine clean.
- Clean your computer before selling it or giving it away. See how here: http://ow.ly/FrYLl
- It’s not just information you have to clean, your device’s waste can be toxic, dispose of them safely: http://ow.ly/FrZwp
- From time to time, you should go through all of the folders on your computer, including the recycle bin, and get rid of all those files you don’t use or need anymore.
- Don’t forget your mobile device needs periodical clean up as well. Keep the operative system and apps up-to-date.
- Take a time to change your passwords (including your network connection pass)
- Remember to remove all unneeded plug-ins and add-ons, some of them may contain malware and adware.
- Right after you update your antivirus software, run a "deep scan" of all your files to make sure there is no malware hiding somewhere in your hard drive that was not seen by the quick scan; this may take few hours, but it will help protecting you from security risks
- Keeping your work environment clean is just as important as keeping your machine free of virus: http://ow.ly/FrY7D
- Add a spam filter and report spams to stop them from going directly to your inbox; it'll help keeping your e-mail clean.
- Back up your webmail so that in case you get locked out of your account, you don’t lose all your information.
- Organize your messages in labeled folders to keep all your information at hand when you need it.
Your Social Media accounts and Online Presence
- Check your Facebook privacy settings periodically and select the specific audience you want to grant access to your personal information
- Take steps to have removed any content that comes up online that you think could damage your reputation. You can find ways to do that here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/cleaning-your-digital-footprint/
- If you stopped using any social media account, delete it.
- Think before you post. Sometimes we make impulsive posts without taking into consideration their possible consequences. Remember that what goes in the web could stay there forever.
- Find old humiliating posts made in social media accounts like Twitter and delete them. http://ow.ly/FrZCs
- Keep control over all the places your data is being contained; review which apps can access your social media accounts.
The ITS HelpDesk can help you to safely dispose of old hard drives and portable media. See other media disposal recommendations: http://ow.ly/FrMjk
Follow us on social media to learn more about how to better perform your Spring cleaning: