Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of the year again when we clean old clothes out of the closet, scoop the dead leaves out of the gutters, dust the tops of our bookshelves and vacuum the rarely-seen floor behind the oven. It’s time to spring clean!

Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance also want you to add some items to your checklist: digital spring cleaning. Add the following important tasks to your annual ritual of cleaning house. Then step back and admire your work of a clean house and a secure digital world.

BBB and NCSA have outlined a four-week program. Here are the highlights:

Week 1: Keep Clean Machines

Keep your software up-to-date on all of your internet-connected devices: PCs, tablets, phones, printers, etc. Delete unused apps and review the permissions on the ones you use frequently.

Week 2: Make Sure You’re Secure

Make sure you’re using two-factor authentication for critical accounts. Secure your router with a strong password. Improve passwords by using upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for all accounts, especially the critical ones like email, banking and healthcare.

Week 3: Digital File Purge and Protection

Clean out old email. Unsubscribe to emails you no longer read. Update your online photos by backing up important ones and deleting less flattering pictures. Update online relationships by reviewing social media connections. Store important data on a secure cloud site. Permanently delete old files.

Week 4: Clean Up Your Online Reputation

Review privacy and security settings for your online accounts. Delete old photos that no longer represent you on your social media accounts. Review the information for your online self and update where needed.

Now get outside and enjoy the flowers in bloom! Or perhaps, call your mom and take her to Lilac Sunday here in the Boston area!