By Vicki Little
We are just one month away from summer, so there is still time to fit that spring cleaning in. If you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of dust bunnies and spiderwebs, try starting a little smaller. Technology spring cleaning can be done while sitting down. Nice, right? If you need step-by-step instructions, you can find them at Redzone.net. You can also check out our article “Your Phone May Be Tracking Your Every Move-How To Protect Yourself” to update your location settings.
- Get out your keyboard duster and start by cleaning the dirtiest part of your computer – or just use a Post-it note, which works great to pick up little crumbs. Clean your screen with a screen cleaner and soft cloth, and disinfect your mouse as well.
- Next you’ll need to log on. Clear your cache. Delete your browsing history. Delete any unnecessary files and folders. Organize your bookmarks, and empty your recycle bin. Download all pictures and files onto a flash drive and then do a full back up your computer.
- Clear your cloud! If you are not currently working on something in your virtual storage, save it to a flash drive and delete it.
- Run a full scan on your virus protection, and make sure all your malware, virus, and backup systems are updated and working.
- If you have multiple emails, your first step should be to see which ones you can delete. Put a forwarding message on it for a month or so, and then deactivate it.
- Archive all emails into appropriate folders, deleting which ones you can first.
- Clear your spam/junk and sent folders. Go to your settings to set up an automatic dump of these folders to keep it clean throughout the year.
- Every single password you have should be changed regularly, but chances are you aren’t doing this. Now is a good time, so pick one that includes at least one capital letter and one symbol. Do not use your children’s names, your pets names, your social security number, your street name, or the word ‘password’.
- Do not write your passwords down where they can be found — like on your planner, calendar, a Post-it in a desk drawer, or even in your phone. Check if your virus protection offers password storage, or lock up your passwords with other important information.
- It is amazing the number of apps we link to our Facebook or Twitter accounts without even realizing it. It is just too tempting to “log in via Facebook.” Now is the time to clean that up. You will find the app management under settings in the different platforms. Go through and delete anything you no longer use.
- Go through your friends/followers. Just because you had a short conversation with someone on the plane three years ago, does not mean you have to feel obligated to accept their friend request.
- Check your security settings. Social media sites are constantly updating and changing things, and you may be showing your information to more people than you think.
What have we missed? Do you have something we should include in our list?
Vicki Little is a work-at-home mom with two young kids. A Colorado native, she is the Publisher and Editor of Macaroni Kid Aurora and Downtown Denver. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, camping, or enjoying a bottle of wine with friends.
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