Here's how to declutter your digital life for spring

Here's how to declutter your digital life for spring

If you like everything to be neat and organized, especially for the new work year, it is worth doing a bit of a Marie Kondo-style digital cleaning and putting your online life in order. In this article, we gathered some essential digital cleaning methods and tips for doing the job.

As the famous infosec blogger John Opdenakker once wrote on his Twitter, “Security by removal” is a good way of data protection. Remove all the accounts, software, apps, and files you no longer use, and stick to the famous Marie Kondo minimalism principle: get rid of everything you don’t need. Just 1 hour of digital cleaning each year can help you protect your personal data, privacy, and security of your computer. The fewer accounts, programs, and applications you have, the less likely there are privacy leaks, data breaches, or any security issues. 

Delete your old accounts

Still have a MySpace account or an ICQ number? If you haven’t used them for years, then maybe, you never will. You can go through them to save some old photos or other important files and information stored inside before saying goodbye. If you encounter deleting problems, use the services specially designed for it, such as Just Delete Me and Account Killer.

Delete unnecessary software from your computer

Various programs take up the storage space on your computer and if they are not updated regularly or if the support for them was discontinued, they pose a danger to your computer and your personal data because of a weakened security system.

  • How to view all programs on a Windows PC

1. Go to Settings > System > Storage, then click on Apps & Features.

2. Under the Sort By dropdown, select Install Date.

3. Go through all your software and remove the ones you don’t need anymore.

  • mac-computer">How to view all programs on a Mac computer

1. Click on the Apple icon in your screen's upper left corner, go to About This Mac, and then select Storage > Manage > Applications.

2. Go through all your programs and decide whether there are some that you don’t need anymore. You can sort them by Last Accessed to have a clearer view.

delete unnecessary programs mac computer
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Audit your subscriptions

Do you often feel overwhelmed with all the incoming emails? Probably, you just have lots of newsletters coming in every week or even every morning. Take 30 minutes of your time to audit all the subscriptions that you have and unsubscribe from the ones you never read or even open. The button Unsubscribe is usually located at the bottom of the newsletter.

Check your browser extensions

Web browser extensions are a handy tool, though some of them are stealing your data for third-party companies. Check attentively your Google Chrome or Safari add-ons and remove the ones you don’t need.

check your browser extensions
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  • On Chrome

1. Click the puzzle icon > Manage Extensions.

2. Click the Remove from Chrome button on any extensions you don’t need.

  • On Firefox

1. Click the three-dots icon > Add-Ons.

2. Click the three-dots icon next to the extension you want to delete, and then select Remove.

  • On Safari

Open Safari > Preferences > Extensions. Click the Uninstall button on any extensions you do not need.

Read also: How to enable extensions in Chrome Incognito mode.

Get rid of mobile apps you don’t need

There are so many various apps out there nowadays, and not all of them are completely safe, that’s why you have to be careful when downloading them. If apps take too much storage space, consider deleting some of them.

How to delete apps on Android

  • Got to the Play Store.
  • Tap the hamburger menu in the upper left corner.
  • Choose My Apps & Games > Installed > Alphabetical, and change it to Last Used.
  • For any app you don’t need anymore, tap on it and then select Uninstall to get rid of it.

How to delete apps on iPhone

  • Head to Settings > General > iPhone Storage, to find all your apps, organized by size.
  • Tap on the app, and then tap the Delete App button if you don’t need it anymore.

Note: Don’t forget to audit the third-party apps access and change the access settings for some of them if needed.

Update your current apps

The apps that you decide to leave on your smartphone have to be regularly updated in order to function effectively and at the same time to maintain a certain level of security.

Remove yourself from public records websites

If you’ve ever searched your or your friends’ names online out of curiosity, you’ve probably been surprised how much information about us there is. It happens because data brokers dig into our social media accounts, email addresses, and other info to create digital profiles and databases. Check your name in the most popular databases, such as PeekYou, PeopleFinder, and Intelius.

Clean up your computer desktop

If you have the tendency to cover your computer desktop with random files that you save on your desktop to have them at your fingertips, and at a certain point it is so cluttered that you can not find anything, it's time to clean it up. Delete old or unnecessary screenshots and files via Bin, organize the rest by folders, and breathe freely.

Delete the contents of your download folder

Are there any files on your Downloads that you don't use or even don't know that they exist? Well, it's time to remove them and make room for other files. As a bonus, this will also speed up your computer's performance.

any more questions about your computer's security and performance? check out our forum!
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