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Tip #1: Keep Clean Machines

Get Started by making sure that all web-connected devices are squeaky clean.


  1. Update software on all Internet-connected devices to reduce risks from malware and infections.
  2. Clean up your mobile life by deleting unused apps, keeping others current and reviewing app permissions.


Tip #2: Digital File Purge and Protection

Enhancing the security of your online account is a must and a fast, simple way to be safer online.


  1. Turn on two-factor authentication on critical accounts like email, banking and social media.
  2. Secure your router by making sure it has a strong password and does not broadcast who you are through its name, such as “the Jones Family” or “123 Elm Street”
  3. Make better passwords by combining upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols.
  4. Make unique passwords for important accounts like email, finance and healthcare.
  5. Write down your new passwords and store them in a safe place away from your computer.
  6. Check to ensure all devices are password, passcode, or fingerprint protected.


Tip #3: Digital File Purge and Protect

Tend to your digital records just as you do for paper files, be sure to properly dispose of sensitive materials – such as hard drives, disks and memory cards.


  1. Clean our your old email and empty deleted folders. If you need to keep old messages move them to an archive.
  2. Delete or archive older files and outdated financial statements.
  3. Unsubscribe to newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read.
  4. Update your online photo album by deleting or backing up old or less flattering photos.
  5. Update online relationships by reviewing friends on social networks and all contacts lists to make sure everyone still belongs.
  6. Copy important data to a secure cloud site of other drive where it can be safely stored.
  7. Password protect back-up drives and keep them in a different location off the network.
  8. Permanently deleted all old files.


Tip #4: Clean up your online reputation

Parents and older kids with social media accounts can take an active role in making sure their online reputations shine.


  1. Own your online presence by reviewing the privacy and security settings on websites you use to be sure they are set to your comfort level for sharing.
  2. Clean up your social media presence by deleting old photos, etc. that are embarrassing or no longer represent who you are.
  3. Update your “online self” by reviewing your personal information and updating it where needed.


Download the complete Digital Spring Cleaning Checklist from

This post was taken with information from and is part of our effort to bring awareness to Data Privacy Day taking place on January 28th. Be sure to check what the day is all about here. Find ways to get involved and take action to help create a culture of privacy awareness here.

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