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How to Declutter Your Digital Life?

If you are a fan of starting the new year with a clean slate, then perhaps now, at the beginning of the year, it is worth doing a digital cleaning and putting your Internet life in order. 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 are privacy leaks, data breaches, or any security issues. In this article, we gathered some important digital cleaning methods and tips that will do the job.

As the famous infosec blogger John Opdenakker once wrote in his Twitter, “Security by removal” is a good way of data protection. Remove all the accounts, softwares, apps and files you no longer use and stick to the famous Marie Kondo minimalism principle: get rid of everything you don’t need.

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. In case you encounter problems with deleting, use the services specially designed for it, such as Just Delete Me and Account Killer.

Delete Unnecessary Softwares 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 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 softwares and remove the ones you don’t need anymore.

How to View All Programs on Mac Computer?

1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen and 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.

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 Chrome or Safari add-ons and remove the ones you don’t really need.

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

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

Other Useful Tips

  • After you cleaned up your digital life, you can check if there are any electronics, such as old cell phones or cameras stored at home. Think about recycling and repurposing your old gadgets in order to purify the space and make your consumer habits eco-responsible at the same time.
  • If you’ d like to completely erase your digital footprint, read our article about how to disappear from the Internet.

Photo – Unsplash.com, quickmeme.com

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