I39307110_St’s that time of the year for cleaning and organizing. It’s also a good time to do the same with your digital world! Here is a four-week program from The Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance designed to help you organize and protect your digital assets.

Week 1: Clean your machines. Are you sure that all of your web-connected devices ‒ computers, mobile phones, smartphones and tablets ‒ are free from malware and infections? You’ll want to make sure to update all of your critical software regularly. Do you say “not now” when your computer requests an update? Doing so can leave you vulnerable. Allowing updates is one of the best security measures you can take. Make sure you’re keeping up-to-date on all security software, web browsers, document readers, operating systems and any other software you use regularly. Delete any unused apps on your phone and make it a policy to be extremely cautious when downloading new apps. Also, don’t forget to use antivirus software — there are many free and low-cost versions available that provide a layer of protection for a wide range of devices. It’s another layer of defense.

Week 2: Make sure you’re secure. Consider using two-factor authentication for important accounts. Yes, it’s a bit more of a hassle to log in each time but it can dramatically reduce the chance of someone gaining access to your accounts. Secure your router with a strong password. And improve passwords by using upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use the same password for all accounts and make it a policy to change them periodically.

Week 3: Purge and protect digital files. Clean out old email. Store important data and photos on a secure cloud site. When backing up your most important information, use the 3-2-1 rule to help guide you: 3 backup copies, 2 different media types, 1 offline and in a separate location.

While you’re at it, permanently delete old files. Unsubscribe to newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read. Empty your trash or recycle bin on all devices and permanently delete old files. Feels great, doesn’t it?

Week 4: Clean up your online reputation. Review privacy and security settings for your online accounts, including social media. Delete old photos that no longer represent you on your social media accounts. Review the information for your online self and update where needed.

For more digital spring cleaning tips, go to this link.

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