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6 Steps for Digital Spring Cleaning

In 2018, there were over 1,250 data breaches, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.1 We did the math: That’s more than three per day. It’s no wonder managing your devices, files, email and social media accounts can feel overwhelming.

Reacting only when a data breach hits the headlines isn’t the most effective strategy. Instead, expand your spring cleaning routine this year by tidying up your digital devices to help keep your information and data safe and secure year-round. Get started with the six digital spring cleaning tips below.

  1. Clean up your devices
    Never ignore the power of a software update. Updating the operating systems and applications on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile phone can help reduce your risk of falling victim to malware and viruses. Remember to also update your home’s Wi-Fi routers, smart TVs and any other devices that connect to the internet. Deleting apps you aren’t using can also decrease your exposure while creating space on your device.
  2. Bring order to your online presence
    You might update your social media profiles frequently, but do you take time to review activity from years past? Scroll through your old photos, posts and comments and remove any that may be embarrassing or no longer represent who you are. Evaluate who you’re connected to digitally and make changes if needed. Perhaps most importantly, double-check your security settings and update your privacy settings to a level you’re comfortable with.
  3. Purge your digital files
    Just like you would toss old papers from your desk drawers, review files on your PC or mobile devices and delete any that are out of date or unnecessary. Organize important files into a system to make future access easy. Then back them up by saving to a secure cloud site or another computer or backup drive that can be stored safely. Make your data even more secure by password-protecting your backup drives.
  4. Clear out your email
    Be disciplined about saving only the emails you really need. Unsubscribing from unwanted newsletters and setting up junk filters can help by reducing the number of unsolicited emails in your inbox.
  5. Overhaul your login credentials
    If you haven’t done so recently, consider this your reminder to update your passwords. Ensure they’re strong by using numbers, special characters and capitalization. If available, use passcodes, fingerprint and facial recognition tools on your devices. Enable multi-factor authentication (two-step verification) whenever possible. And spend some time researching and considering a password manager.
  6. Tidy up your web browsers
    Start by deleting any browsers you never use. For those you do access regularly, review your settings. Delete old cookies and other information. If you’ve stored your passwords, take this opportunity to delete them and change your settings.

A once-a-year deep clean can help protect you from data breaches. But staying vigilant and taking steps to protect your data consistently is even better for helping protect your identity and devices.

At CIT Bank, your privacy and security is our number one priority. Discover how our security, privacy and fraud prevention measures help to keep your account and personal information safe.

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