CT BBB: Digital Spring Cleaning Tips


CROMWELL, Conn.— The weather is slowly starting to get warmer, inspiring people to clean up or clear out clutter. The one area many people overlook isn't the corner of a room or a forgotten closet; it's probably the digital device on which you're reading this article. We use our phones to shop, scroll through social media, bank, and work. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) remind everyone that when clearing out the physical clutter, there's probably a bunch of digital data clutter that lives on your electronic devices. 
If you have a few extra hours or minutes in your day, it may be a good time to begin your digital spring cleaning. Taking some simple, proactive steps will go a long way in safeguarding against any number of potentially disruptive issues – like identity theft, loss of funds or credit card fraud – that can cause mayhem by compromising your data. Take the time to put into practice a few precautionary measures and you will have greater peace of mind – not only this spring but all year round.
NCSA and the BBB are encouraging people to check their smartphones, laptops, and tablets and take a few minutes to review these tips.
  • Update your system and software: Avoid procrastination! Having the most current software, web browsers, and operating systems are some of the easiest and fastest ways to protect your most sensitive assets.  
  • Back it up: Protect your personal and workplace data by making electronic copies – or backups – of your most important files. We all use our smartphones to take photos now so how are you protecting them? Did you adopt a pet or have a baby in the last year? Protect those images by backing them up in case anything happens to your smartphone. 
  • Clean up your mobile device: When was the last time you used all of the apps on your phone or tablet? Do you know what those apps are accessing? Review the apps on your phone and the privacy settings each app has. Turn off any allowances you do not see necessary.
  • Be careful what you share: Quizzes on social media are fun, and keeping in touch is a necessity these days. However, questions on social media might give away too much information about you, your location, or your family.
  • Lockdown your login: Security is critical to protecting accounts being used for work and for home. Ensure passphrases for each account are lengthy, unique, and safely stored. Enable 2-factor authentication on all accounts that offer it. 
In addition to following the above-listed tips, small business owners should take time in establishing, updating, and communicating policies and procedures around topics like record retention. It is also imperative that a cybersecurity strategy is in place and used by all employees. BBB has tips on BBB.org/smallbusiness on how to avoid online scams when working from home.








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