Spring Cleaning? Don’t Forget Your Digital Life [Checklist]

When it comes to spring cleaning, nowadays, there are more things that need attention besides removing dust bunnies and cleaning windows. In today’s technology reliant world, it is also important to make an annual plan for spring cleaning of your digital life. The truth is that we all have one that needs just as much spring cleaning as our homes. When we get caught up in downloading apps or filing out online order forms, we sometimes forget that we have a bunch of sensitive information like credit card numbers that we are sharing. A digital life cleanup also ensures that we are taking steps to make sure all our digital activities are safe and protected from potential hackers or misuse.

What Is Considered Part of Your Digital life?

Your digital life consists of anything and everything you do online. From receiving emails and using apps to interacting with smart appliances and Wi-Fi networks – and they all need attention at least once a year.

Digital life Decluttering Checklist

1. Email Inbox

Too many emails can be a complete distraction and totally overwhelming. Make a plan to rid yourself of any unnecessary messages this spring. Organize your email with folders for your messages that might include work, finances, family, shopping, etc. so you can easily move emails for proper storage. If you find yourself with way too many emails to organize, simply archive the emails so that you will have them handy if you ever need them, but out of your daily email inbox. This will reduce clutter and stress…and help you regroup your messages for a clean start.

2. Unsubscribe from Unwanted Newsletters

Taking the time to unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters is a great way to declutter your digital life. Receiving fewer emails now means less emails to clutter your inbox, makes it a great practice to do each spring.

3. Eliminate Unused Apps

If we’re being honest – many of us don’t use a lot of the apps we download. Deleting unused apps will free up storage space on phones, tablets, and computers. It also might be a good idea to remove any app that is taking too much of your time and causing you to be unproductive.

4. Secure Your Passwords

Your passwords hold the key to all of your online activity, so it is crucial that they are as secure as possible and hidden from prying eyes. Make your passwords strong and do not use personal information others have access to such as your birthday or pet’s name. Also, make it a practice to change your passwords every spring to ensure your online accounts are safe and secure.

5. Secure Home Wi-Fi System

An overlooked part of your digital life might include your home Wi-Fi system. Don’t forget to turn on the firewall, strengthen your system’s encryption, and change your password frequently to avoid a breach of security via your home Wi-Fi system.

6. Back Up Important Files

All important documents need to be backed up on a regular basis on a USB Drive or via the Cloud. This is crucial to do often in case there is ever an issue with your device, so you will know that you have access to your documents and that they are secure. It also allows easy access when you need them quickly.

7. Secure Smart Appliances

Many of today’s homes have smart appliances that need to be as secure as possible. Be sure to secure all of your smart home features by making strong passwords, enabling multi-factor authentication, updating them regularly, and monitoring and securing your home’s Wi-Fi network.

8. Clean Up Your Social Media List

A major part of your digital life is your social media accounts. Facebook users should monitor all Facebook events to ensure they are still relevant and delete the ones that aren’t, so you don’t receive irrelevant notifications. On LinkedIn it is a good idea to clear out the pending invitations as well as your inbox for a clutter-free social media account. For Twitter accounts, monitor your timeline and unfollow those that are no longer relevant to streamline your social media experience.

9. Organize Your Desktop

Your digital life will be much more organized once you clear your desktop of unnecessary clutter. You can jumpstart this process by creating a folder on your desktop to store all the files. Then you can work on sorting those files when you have time to discard the ones that are no longer needed.

Make Sure Your Digital life is Organized and Secure with This Checklist

In addition to all of your normal spring cleaning chores, be sure to include organizing your digital life. Once you have uncluttered parts of your digital life like important documents, emails, and social media accounts, your stress level will go down, and your productivity will go up.  This digital clean up also ensure that you take a look at all your passwords and double check that all your personal information is secure and your online activities are safe from potential fraud and hackers. Make it a plan to do this digital spring cleaning each year to live your best online life. 

For additional information on how you can connect with confidence and navigate safely, check out our safeguards and alerts page.

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