Just like your home, your digital life can become cluttered: things pile up, get out of date, get lost, or are no longer needed. External hard drives and USBs, phones and tablets, wearables, networking equipment, smart home devices and office tools like copiers, and printers all contain valuable personal information.

A digital spring cleaning can reduce the risk of cyber criminals accessing old information that could help them figure out how to get to your new information. To get started, make a list of all devices where you store personal information. Then perform complete backups on each device. Follow these tips to make sure that your digital spring cleaning is complete.

  • Purge Files on Desktops, Laptops, and Hosted/ Cloud Services
  • Perform a thorough review of your digital file locations with a focus on personal records.
  • Delete or archive multiple drafts of the same document, outdated financial statements, unused apps, and downloaded files.
  • Empty your trash or recycle bin on all devices: Make sure to securely and permanently delete old files.
  • Learn more at https://health.ucdavis.edu/itsecurity/. Clean Up Mobile Devices
  • Delete unused apps.
  • Update operating system and apps.
  • Review location services, Bluetooth, microphone, and camera settings for all apps. Safety-Check Web Browsers
  • Review all browser security settings to make sure that they are still keeping you safe.
  • Delete sensitive information from autofill settings and turn off automatic capture of your form entries.
  • Remove saved passwords and disable automatic password storage.
  • Uninstall seldom-used browser applications. Only maintain one or two browsers that work well with most websites.
  • Review Email and Other Online Accounts List all online accounts including Email, social networking services, and other accounts that require a username and password to access them.
  • Close accounts that you no longer need.
  • Remove outdated credit card and contact information.
  • Remove contacts on social networks that you don’t personally know.
  • Delete or archive old emails and empty your email trash.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, email alerts, and other automatic emails that you no longer read.

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