Checklist for digital spring cleaning  

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CROMWELL —  Connecticut Better Business Bureau recommends consumers and businesses do a digital spring cleaning to speed up performance, protect files, photos and videos, and strengthen digital security.

“A digital spring cleaning is vital for businesses and consumers because we spend so much time online,” says Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz.  “Anyone who uses the internet can benefit from cleaning out their computers in terms of performance and safety.”

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and BBB are working together to help prevent exposure or loss of personal information, which may be sprinkled throughout our personal computers, smart devices and the internet.  Some of us have online accounts such as cloud storage or social media accounts you might not use anymore.

Once you understand the necessary steps to clean out your computer, you can significantly strengthen your security and prevent many of the hacking and identity theft problems we often hear about.  These steps are especially important if you share your computer with your children or anyone else, and critically important for businesses to protect themselves and their customers.

Digital Spring Cleaning Checklist:

  • Back it up – Some of the digital spring cleaning measures include storing copies of your files on an external drive in case of a virus, the loss of a computer or smart device, or hardware breakdown.  Seasoned computer users do a regular backup or when there are substantial changes or additions to files.
  • Delete unused software – Old programs can slow down your system, and may be more vulnerable to the latest hacking methods.
  • Update existing software and patches – Updates improve performance but they also contain security improvements to deal with computer viruses, which are constantly morphing and becoming more sophisticated.
  • Get rid of junk – Photos, video, old files and archives can take up disk space and slow performance.
  • Do thorough scans – There are paid and free programs that can help get rid of junk and correct errors in your software.
  • Unsubscribe if you don’t use it – Opt out of receiving newsletters, alerts and other emails if you no don’t use them.

You will find additional information on digital spring cleaning through this link.