Reduce cyber clutter and better protect personal data

A few simple steps will help you stay cyber safe, and protect your personal data and identity all year round. The National Cyber Security Alliance and Better Business Bureau encourages you to get your online life in good order by conducting a thorough cleanse of your cyber clutter. The new year is a great time to get started. Here’s how.

Keep a clean machine
Ensure all software on internet-connected devices — including PCs, smartphones and tablets — is up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware. Keep cyber clutter to a minimum by installing and keeping up to date internet security software that includes anti-virus and anti-malware software. In addition, make sue to install desktop or mobile firewall applications. Lastly, consider using a good Virtual Private Network (VPN) application when connecting to unsecure wireless networks,.

Lock down your login
Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. Begin your cyber cleaning by fortifying your online accounts and enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device.

Declutter your mobile life
Most of us have apps we no longer use and some that need updating. Delete unused apps and keep others current, including the operating system on your mobile device.

Do a digital file purge
Perform a good, thorough review of your online files. Tend to digital records, PCs, phones and any device with storage just as you do for paper files. Reduce your cyber clutter by doing the following:

    • Clean up your email: Save only those emails you really need and unsubscribe to email you no longer need or want to receive.
    • Back it up: Copy important data to a secure cloud site or another computer/drive where it can be safely stored to further reduce cyber clutter. If you’re not using wifi to do this, data fees could apply. Contact your carrier for more information. Don’t forget to password protect backup drives. Always back up your files before getting rid of a device, too.

Refreshing your online life is a relatively simple process. Data Privacy Day is January 28. Take the day to start using these trouble-free tips to help you keep a clean, organized digital life.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.
The advice provided is for informational purposes only.