Author: Brenda Talavera, Digital Project Manager

Spring…ahhh, that time of year when the birds are singing, the trees are blooming and we feel the need to start cleaning up our accumulated clutter. It’s a time when we finally look around and decide what needs to be tossed and what we can’t live without. Just like our physical worlds, our digital worlds also need a thorough cleaning and organizing at least once a year. I’m guilty of loading up all my devices with photos, videos, notes and emails that I save for “later” and never get to. And then it never fails, I finally go to look for something I need and it’s impossible to locate. And as a bonus, I’ve also used up all of my memory. Spring cleaning is definitely not my idea of fun. But don’t we all want to be better organized, be more efficient with our time and have our security better protected? Sure we do! It will take a little effort, but the rewards will be worth it.

Here are a few simple suggestions that I’ve found pretty helpful with my digital purge.

Tackle That Email Inbox

Save only the emails you really need. If you want to keep old messages, move them to an archive.

Close Unnecessary Accounts

Delete anything you don’t use regularly. Keeping accounts you don’t use will just leave your private information vulnerable.

Dump Old Apps and Update the Ones You Use

Delete any of your unused apps to free up space on your devices. It will also protect you from some apps that could share your data.

Update Your Old Passwords

We all know this, but still tend to ignore what’s best for us because it’s just so darn hard to remember new passwords. Use upper- and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols. And make unique passwords for important accounts. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place in your home. Or use one of the many services available such as 1Password or LastPass that will allow you to store all your passwords under one master password.

Back Up and Archive Your Files

Place your large photo albums and video files on an external hard drive or cloud-storage server to free up space and keep your digital storage organized. Try one of these top-rated cloud-storage and file-sharing services in 2017: IDrive, SugarSync, Google Photos, Apple iCloud Drive, Dropbox or Flickr.

Unsubscribe From Email Alerts, Newsletters and Updates You No Longer Read

Eliminating these unwanted emails will also help manage your email inbox.

Clean Up Your Online Reputation

Review your privacy and security settings, delete old photos (especially the embarrassing ones) and update your personal information.

For additional tips to clean up a Mac, visit The Mac Security Blog.

References

  1. Rodriguez, Ashley. “Digital Spring-Cleaning Tips to Help Speed Up and Secure Your Devices.” Quartz, May 27, 2016.
  2. BBB Tip: Digital Spring Cleaning.” BBB.org.
  3. Drury, Sara. “Tips for Digital Spring Cleaning.” Digicert Blog, May 5, 2016.
  4. McElhearn Kirk. “The Best Mac Cleanup Tips for Digital Spring Cleaning.” The Mac Security Blog, Intego, March 21, 2017.
  5. Digital Spring Cleaning Checklist.” StaySafeOnline.org.
  6. 1Password.
  7. LastPass.
  8. IDrive.
  9. SugarSync.
  10. Google Photos.
  11. Apple iCloud Drive.
  12. Dropbox.
  13. Flickr.
  14. The Mac Security Blog, Intego.