As the weather warms up and the days get longer, you open your windows to let in the spring breeze. With the new season, your mood improves and you feel inspired to begin your annual spring cleaning. The term spring cleaning probably makes you think of cleaning out closets, giving away old clothes and deep cleaning your kitchen. It’s a chance to give your home a refresh.
Well, there’s more to spring cleaning than just tidying up your house. This year, upgrade your spring cleaning process to include your digital life. When was the last time you reviewed your passwords, cleaned out your files or checked your credit report? Spring is the perfect reason to do a digital spring cleaning to improve your safety online.
Update contact information
Start with the basics. Updating your contact information on your important accounts is essential, but easy to forget. Typically, you won’t need to routinely update your contact information, but if you have had a major life change in the last year you may need to. Review your contact information to ensure that it’s up to date and you’re not missing key information. This is a simple way to start your digital spring cleaning.
- Have you moved lately?
- Changed your name?
- Switched to a new email address?
- Purchased a new domain name for a website?
Organize your digital files
This task is something you have probably been putting off for a long time. Organizing your digital files is time-consuming and head-inducing, but it’s important.
- When was the last time you cleaned out your hard drive?
- How many photos do you have saved on your phone?
- Are you running out of cloud storage space?
Your phone, tablet and computer hold your entire life. Between documents, videos and photos your hard drive and cloud storage space will disappear quickly if you don’t stay on top of it. As you take up more space on your hard drive or cloud storage, you grow closer to having to upgrade your storage space or crashing your computer.
No one likes going through their files, but setting aside some time to clean out your files will make your life simpler. Purging some of your photos alone can open up a significant amount of storage space and extend the life of your phone or computer. This is time well spent.
Review your credit report
A good credit score is essential to buying a house, securing a steady job, lowering insurance premiums and getting approved to take out loans. You work hard to raise your credit score by paying your bills on time and staying on top of your loans, so why jeopardize that by neglecting to monitor your credit report?
It’s important to routinely check your credit report. You might not realize high credit card balances or past due accounts are affecting your score. Alternatively, there could be discrepancies or problems that are causing your credit score to drop. Arm yourself with the information you need to protect and raise your credit. Don’t let negligence be the reason you are not approved for your next car or house loan.
Strengthen your passwords
If you’re not routinely changing your passwords you run the risk of having your accounts hacked. Check your online banking accounts, your email addresses and even your social media accounts.
Change up your password to something unexpected. Don’t use the names of your kids or pets. Instead, use a combination of numbers, letters and special characters. If your password is easy to guess, you could leave yourself vulnerable to identity theft. Strengthen your passwords to protect yourself from identity theft.
A digital spring cleaning may be time-consuming, but it is well worth it. Protect yourself, your finances and your family by keeping your digital life secure.