If you haven’t already, now is an excellent time for everyone to take the opportunity to have a full on, thorough digital clean-up. This is a painstaking task, but one that will save you enormous amounts of hassle for years to come.
Firstly, dig out all of your old devices. Old USB sticks, hard drives, devices, computers and, if you even still have them, floppy disks – make sure to take the relevant data off these and destroy the rest.
With your accounts and services – do you have an old email account that you used to use? Try to recover it, back up any important data by exporting it, and delete the rest. This is a crucial step toward digital security, it’s likely that you have old, used accounts that are now forgotten. Suddenly, this account is leaked as part of a data breach and, in the unfortunate event that you are re-using your passwords, you will begin to suffer the consequences elsewhere.
On your existing devices, have a general clean-up of any unused files and folders. Outdated bank statements? Locally stored credentials in a text document? Duplicated images? Remove it all. If you upgrade your device and forget to clear any of this out, you may find yourself suddenly battling someone attempting to access your banking services, steal your personal information or even attempt to steal your identity. This all stems from neglecting to fully audit your devices and remove anything that may be irrelevant to you now, but extremely valuable to a criminal.
These steps are vital in ensuring that you have not only a more secure digital experience, but also a cleaner footprint. Digital information is slowly becoming the new physical, and it creates an enormous amount of clutter. Keep it organised, keep it safe.