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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.