Take a deep breath. Visualize a perfect spring cleaning day. What do you see? New sheets and a freshly made bed? A closet free of shredded jeans? Or do visions of drawers cleared of new and used batteries dance in your head?
While that clean-living space you’re imagining is important, you might be forgetting an equally vital space that could use your attention. Specifically, your digital living space. How do you go about digital spring cleaning? Here is a quick checklist to get you started.
Making a habit of creating strong passwords and updating them regularly can go a long way towards ensuring a chaos-free digital space. Every day, there are news stories about hacks, data leaks and money stolen in identify-theft scams. So how do you protect yourself? Step one would be a full audit of your accounts and passwords, starting with your most important accounts, such as banking or health care.
Then ask yourself some key questions like:
- Is this password distinct from my other passwords?
- Do my passwords follow Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency recommendations?
- Is this password memorable enough, or will I need to use a reputable password manager?
As you are updating your passwords, you might also want to make note of how many online accounts you have. Like most things in our lives, our online account closet can get cluttered very easily. Aside from saving you the time of having to update a password, getting rid of unnecessary accounts also reduces your exposure to security risks. With every account you delete, you’re also deleting another opportunity for personal data to be compromised.
When deciding whether to give an account the axe, ask yourself:
- When was the last time I used this account?
- Will I lose anything of value to me by deleting this account?
- Will I have any reason to use this account in the next two months?
For years, the subscription model has been all the rage. While those small monthly fees may seem reasonable by themselves, they add up quickly. Streaming services and software subscriptions are also prone to price hikes. It is also never a bad idea to temporarily pause a subscription. Then assess whether you miss it in the coming months. Remember to look at your applications, too. These can be a drag on your performance and a potential security risk.
To help prune that subscription budget, ask yourself:
- What is my total monthly subscription budget?
- How often do I use this service?
- Will I need it this month?
Internet Speed Assessment
With the Internet, it is important to make sure you have enough speed for what you need or, on the other hand, ensure your plan doesn’t have speeds and data caps that are hindering your digital lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, superusers who are gobbling up data and people who just occasionally check their email need different levels of Internet.
Evaluate your Internet by asking:
- What do I use the Internet for most frequently?
- What is my monthly average for data?
- What plan/tier meets my pricing/usage needs?
Here is where we blur the lines between digital and physical spring cleaning. Make sure you dust and vacuum around your router/modem. Those blinking boxes sometimes blend into the background and we tend to forget about them, but keeping them tidy can also keep them working.
After a nice dusting, ask yourself:
- Is my current router/modem setup compatible with my Internet speed?
- Should I buy or lease a new setup from my provider?
- Are there any Wi-Fi dead spots in my home or do I need to explore mesh solutions?
There’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes with a clean home. That’s the same feeling you’ll have when you optimize your digital home as well. CL Tel is always here if you have any questions along the way.