Extend your spring cleaning into the technical realm

Better Call 4

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Spring is a time for new beginnings, a fresh start, and a great time to organize your home and your technology.

According to local cybersecurity expert Andrew Keck, a digital spring cleaning can help to clear the clutter so your devices are running up to speed and can help to protect your information.

So, where should you start?

“Identify all those old devices,” Keck said. “Everyone has that drawer in their house that has all those old iPhones and iPads that you maybe will use again. Or that computer that sits next to the computer that’s actually working.”

But before you sell or toss those devices, wipe the hard drives clean. Otherwise, someone could gain access to any private or personal information still stored there, opening you up to the possibility of identity theft.

If you’re nervous about hitting “delete,” back up your data first. Keck suggests storing it on the Cloud — an option most devices already offer.

“The Cloud is really a fancy word for a ‘secure data center,’ Keck said. “What do you really need to use the Cloud for? Baby pictures.”

You can also clear your devices by uninstalling programs or apps you no longer use, and closing old accounts, like email addresses, that are no longer active.

And for accounts that are active, update your passwords, something that, according to Keck, should be done periodically to provide an extra layer of cyber-protection. A password manager can help you keep track of them all.

“That password manager will also help you change out your passwords and keep them fresh, and long, without you having to remember them,” Keck said.

It’s also a good time to update your systems and software. Keck said having the most current web browsers and operating systems are some of the easiest and fastest ways to protect your most sensitive assets. It may take some time now to do, but could save you a lot of time down the road.

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