A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BBB Trends: Spring cleaning includes keeping up with your digital data; update and back it up

By Sandra Guile
Better Business Bureau

Spring time is a great time of year to add “digital spring cleaning” to your to do list. A NCSA survey found that preventing identity theft is a top safety concern for Americans but there are often other distractions that get in the way of actually getting around to updating security measures.

Fortunately, there are several easy steps that everyone can do that will go a long way in tidying up digital disorder.

Keep a Clean Machine

Update the software on any devices connected to the Internet to the most current malware protection program. This will protect them against a host of different computer viruses. Delete any unused apps on your mobile devices and update and review any app permissions from the ones you use frequently.

Lockdown Your Login

Make sure your connectivity is secure by using a two-factor authentication any critical accounts – like your email, banking, or social media accounts.  Create a strong password using a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to secure your Wi-Fi router.

More importantly, store all of your passwords separately in a safe place away from your computer or mobile devices.

Update and Back it Up

Once you’ve protected the important files, updated the software and created secure passwords, tend to your digital records just as you would for paper files by properly disposing of sensitive materials such as hard drives, disks and memory cards.

Back up old messages to an archive or cloud storage then unsubscribe from newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read. To clear out additional space, backup or delete old or less-flattering photos from online photo albums.

Additional tips to continue your spring clean-up can be found on staysafeonline.org. Get additional cyber security tips by visiting bbb.org/cybersecurity


Sandra Guile is the Community Outreach Specialist for BBB. She promotes BBB’s message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, media relations, press releases, web content, and other written materials. Contact Sandra at (513) 639-9126 or sguile@cincinnati.bbb.org. The BBB of Central & Eastern KY is located at 1390 Olivia Lane, Suite 100 , Lexington, KY 40511. Reach them at 859-259-1008 or toll-free at 1-800-866-6668. For general inquiries: info@bluegrass.bbb.org

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