When Spring Cleaning, Don't Forget Computers

Apr 22, 2018

When was the last time you cleaned out your inbox or scrubbed the apps on your phone that you don't use?

With spring cleaning on the minds of many, tech experts say home computers also need cleaning - that is, the email inbox and hard drive.

Russell Schrader with the National Cyber Security Alliance says taking care of this digital housekeeping will help protect you from scammers and hackers, in addition to making your daily life easier.
"We're saying go through and get rid of apps that you haven't used. Clean out your inbox. Look at who is using what part of your information. Open up some space on your hard drive. Just get rid of all those things that might cause problems later on."

He says, when it comes to passwords, it's now considered better to use long phrases you can remember, even if they're lines from nursery rhymes or songs.
"What people do now is use pass-phrases, things that are long, the longer the better in terms of hacking; and they don't have to be as tricky, they just need to be long and memorable."

Schrader says it's also a good time to review your privacy and security settings on websites and make sure you're comfortable with the information you're sharing and to back up important data on a cloud or external hard drive.