Carnegie Mellon University

Tips to tidy up your digital clutter.

March 18, 2022

Tidy Up That Digital Clutter!

Spring is the perfect time to clean up and declutter our lives. That goes for our digital clutter too. Let’s look at some ways to tidy up your digital life and secure your data in the process.

Update Your Software and Operating Systems
Software updates are more than notifications on your phone or computer. They help keep your device and data secure. Turn on automatic updates, so will always have the latest and most secure software.

Review Accounts You Haven’t Used in a While
Start with your bookmarks. When was the last time you visited that online exercise site? What about the meal planning company you registered with to get ten free? If you created accounts for these and aren’t using them, delete them to limit the exposure of your personal information to possible hackers.

You should also update old, weak passwords and create unique, strong ones. Use a password manager to help you generate and organize your passwords.

Remove Apps You Don’t Use
Deleting these will free up space on your mobile device. Be sure to close any accounts associated with these apps too.

Disconnect Third-Party Apps from Social Media
Third-party apps and websites might be collecting information about you through your social media account. Remember that contest you entered? Or, that app you installed to track your fitness? Get in the habit of reviewing Apps and Websites in your account settings regularly. Removing those that are no longer relevant to your social media account.

Backup Your Information
Think about all those amazing photos you have on your phone. What about those important project files? It’s a good idea to create a cloud backup or copy this information to an external drive for safe storage in the event your device is lost, stolen, or even hacked. Verify that your backups are running as intended on your phone and tablet, as well as on your computer. 

Make digital decluttering part of your spring cleaning routine. It can help protect valuable personal and work data.