Every now and again it’s great to go through your closet and do a bit of a clean-up. It’s very satisfying to get organised and get rid of all the unwanted stuff we accumulate over the year or over the years. If we do a thorough clean up, we’ll throw out a bunch of unnecessary items leaving us with a shiny new view of our efforts.
Likewise, you may feel an urge to straighten out your digital mess too. A clean-up of all the unnecessary stuff that exists in our digital lives is important and perhaps satisfying too. Those bits and bytes on our phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers are they all needed?
So, once you’ve sorted out the photos and naming all those folders, you’re free to turn your attention to your device security. And by giving your security the spruce up it needs and that dust off you’re less likely to have that pesty malware rummaging through it later.
A clean up of your security would compromise of 5 cleaning processes:
1. Say “yes” to software updates
Software updates is not dissimilar to fixing a broken window or a broken lock on your front door but for your digital life. In other words, code updates come in and fix weaknesses in the software. It updates the codes so thieves can’t access your devices.
As result we recommend you start your clean up by performing all the software updates that you’ve put aside.
You may have heard about this before, perhaps even heard it for the hundredth time. But it is the most important first step to cleaning up your security.
2. Say “no” to duplicate passwords
It’s best not to duplicate your passwords when considering your security. Most of us have at least twenty to thirty accounts, maybe even more. How many of these passwords are duplicated across your accounts? If even two of your accounts share the same passwords, it’s time to do a clean-up.
That’s to say, hackers love duplicate passwords across your accounts. Why? Because once they’ve cracked the code for one account, they get another, and possibly even another.
So, if you have multiple accounts with the same password clean up by creating a unique password for each of your accounts. If you’re up to doing a thorough clean you can invest in a password manager to help with the storage such as Lastpass to make it a whole lot easier. It’s more effort, but worth the time.
3. Lose what you don’t use
Meanwhile it’s worth cleaning up all those apps you no longer use from a security perspective. The more apps, the more places a hacker can use to exploit and get access to your device.
The same rule applies to your online accounts. If we haven’t looked at an account for a while, chances are we aren’t paying any attention to the password and haven’t locked it up very well.
If we think about it there are probably numerous apps on our devices and accounts online, we’ve had and forgotten all about.
In other words –
ditch those apps you no longer use
clear out your unused browser add-ons
and delete the accounts you no longer need
Rule of thumb is the more you lose, the better it is.
4. Get on top of your email
To spread malware, fakes and scams, criminals use email. Therefore, it’s worth tidying up your inbox. It can be very satisfying. If you can get your unread email count to zero, you ‘ll see your inbox with a new shine and lustre from all the clean out.
Firstly, all those newsletters and mailing lists – unsubscribe from them. Afterall, you want an inbox full of the things you want to look at rather than all the unnecessary junk. Once this is done, it is so much easier to spot spam or anything else that looks not quite right. Like step #3—lose it if you don’t use it.
Secondly, skim through your emails and mark the mail that look like scams, spams, malware and or junk. If you do this your inbox will work more effectively at filtering out the unwanted. So don’t just delete the phishing emails, mark them as phishing and next time you’ll not have to delete again. If your inbox can sort out the good from the bad, and the junk that’s so much easier for you. And less chance of you becoming a victim of cybercrime.
5. Run a malware scan
A good clean out means we’re about to be very satisfied everything is tidied up. But it also comes with some peace of mind knowing that we’ve actively sort to become more secure and harbour no nasties. So put down the feather duster and pick up the disinfectant called the malware scanner for that finishing shine.
A malware scanner is an essential component for any deep clean for your device.
Therefore, waste no time in grabbing the malware scanner for all those hard-to-reach places and dark corners of your laptop or desktop.
To sum up, cleaning up your security is both satisfying and improves your digital security.