Cyber Spring Cleaning

Cybersecurity, Financial Planning, Yeske Buie MillennialPosted on May 3rd, 2017No Comments

Written By: Lauren Mireles, FPQPTM

If you haven’t already started, you may be planning to embark on a spring cleaning binge in upcoming weeks. A typical list of spring cleaning projects likely includes de-cluttering your living spaces, wiping down your walls and ceilings, and swapping your winter clothes for a summer variety. But when is the last time you “scrubbed” your digital life? Regular maintenance of your digital devices, profiles, and online identity is key to protecting yourself from the “dirt” of phishers and hackers. Below we offer a cyber spring cleaning checklist that you may consider adding to your remaining spring cleaning initiatives.

  1. Review your accounts and make it a habit to proactively check them on a regular basis. Make sure to read your Schwab and other financial account statements each month; once you’ve done so, shred them.
  2. Clean out your old email and empty deleted folders. If you need to keep old messages, move them to an archive. You may also consider unsubscribing from newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read. A full list of email best practices can be found here.
  3. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA) on critical accounts like email, banking and social media. Get the 411 on 2FA here.
  4. Update all software and apps on your computers and handheld devices; especially those that are connected to the Internet.
  5. Refresh your passwords with a structure that is not easy to guess and keep them in a safe location away from your computer. Make unique passwords for important accounts like email, finance and healthcare. Be sure all relevant devices are password, passcode, or fingerprint protected. This includes devices like your phone, tablet, internet router, and more.
  6. Monitor your credit report for early detection of identity fraud. You can learn more about how to conduct A Careful Review of Your Credit Report here on our website.
  7. Own your online presence by reviewing the privacy and security settings on websites you use to be sure they are set at your comfort level for sharing.
  8. Consider enrolling in IdentityForce’s robust and comprehensive service to rest assured that another set of eyes is proactively working to protect your identity, privacy, and credit.
  9. Digitally “shred” old, unneeded devices including external hard drives, USBs, and memory cards. The Better Business Bureau hosts Secure Your ID Day digital shredding events nationwide, many of which include electronic shredding.

For more ideas on how you can declutter your digital life, check out the Better Business Bureau’s Digital Spring Cleaning checklist.

And of course, like house chores, cleaning your digital life is not an one time event. We encourage you to explore the following posts for healthy technology that habits you can adopt this spring and throughout the rest of this year:

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson