“We live online just as much as we do “offline” in our homes and apartments, so we need to be taking the time to refresh and update our security and eliminate bad digital habits.”

Dale Meredith – Cybersecurity Specialist

If we are to holistically grow where we are planted we need to pause and take inventory of all areas of our lives. In our January 12th #Wellness blog post titled ‘The Health Benefits of Fasting as a Detox’, we talked about the importance of decluttering our mind and body by way of fasting. Digital clutter is a real thing too! Think about it, we accumulate;

  • A bunch of one-off accounts at online stores we probably will never frequent again.
  • Membership in message boards or forums that you no longer participate in.
  • A plethora of outdated apps and programs.
  • Old files from three jobs ago or budget spreadsheets and records from many years back.
  • And, sigh…photos! Plenty, plenty of photos! Feeling convicted? Me too!

All these things impact the effectiveness of our lives and our work performance and productivity. As we rely more and more on our digital devices to get our work done I believe that adopting the habit of spring cleaning your devices is not only the responsible thing but also the loving thing to do.    

In today’s #Careers blog post we share seven digital spring cleaning tips.

#1 Emails: I know, I know it’s hard to let go of those sweet love notes and other emails that hold sentimental value or are of great importance. Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to rip the bandaid off and delete them but I will advise that you migrate them to a delegated folder. Once you’ve moved the emails that you cannot part with, delete all the remaining memos from 2019 – you don’t need them, sis. 

#2 Unsubscribe from irrelevant newsletters: As we grow older our tastes and interests change, so it should come as no surprise if there are e-newsletters that you no longer religiously read or find informative. Do yourself a favour and set aside time to unsubscribe from ones that are no longer interested and see how quickly the amount of junk that lands in your inbox decrease.  

#3 Review All Your Accounts and Delete the Ones That You Don’t Use: When was the last time you checked your bookmarked list, your password manager, and or the other apps and folders that store your various usernames and passwords. Critically review all the sites/apps and their services. Ask yourself if they still serve the purpose you originally bookmarked or downloaded them for? Look at the date you last logged into the account and if it’s been over 6 months it might be time to remove all your personal info before deactivating the said account. This will ensure that your username, email address, and passwords remain out of circulation and minimise your exposure and limit the possibility of your info landing in the hands of hackers.

#4 Delete Apps: Unused apps serve no purpose other than unnecessarily taking up space thus causing your devices to lag and run slow. Needless to say, this will greatly impact your productivity, not to mention your patience. Unused Apps can also compromise your online security. According to Kaspersky 83 out of 100 Android apps have access to sensitive information, like account passwords, contacts, messages, calls, files stored, and other such data – so be mindful of the apps you install and keep.  

#5 Organise and Store Your Media: Now this right here deserves a blog post of its own. In 2018 an estimated 1,2 trillion photos were reportedly taken and stored across peoples devices. In the age of digital content creators and social media, audiovisual apps and content dominate our memory space across our devices, this number does not surprise me at all! However, while capturing and keeping memories is important it’s also equally important that we regularly audit our audiovisual content and move the bulk of our content to cloud-based storage platforms. This step will probably take up a lot of time but will bring you great joy as your traverse down the audiovisual memory lane. 

#6 Run a Cleaning Software: Listen you do not have to tell me twice to regularly run a cleaning program to detect malware and all other digital security threats. I’ve lived the reckless life of using an unchecked system and trust and believe it’s something I have become religious about regularly running – in fact I have programmed my software to automatically run checks. Don’t underestimate the value and drastic effectiveness of a malware scan on the efficiency of your device.  

#7 Regularly Update Your Software: This is not something to procrastinate over. Whenever you see the notification of a software update, install it immediately. 

Here’s why; 

  • More often than not the updates have a bug fix that’ll help minimise lagging. 
  • Updates also come with security patches that’ll keep hackers and spy malware from your device.
  • Improvements that’ll help your device run smoother.
  • Sensitive data such as your personal information and bank account passwords will be much safer with each software update.

Please share any other digital spring cleaning tips or tricks in the comment section below.