It’s Digital Spring-Cleaning Time!
Spring has sprung. And for many households, that means it’s time to clean, organize, and declutter their homes. It’s also important, however, to conduct a digital spring cleaning on your electronic devices. Failing to do so could result in identity theft, fraud, loss of funds, and loss of company data. Now that much of our lives is being conducted online, focusing on cybersecurity and protecting sensitive information has become critical. NCSA has advice on how to keep this information safe.
“Cleaning out digital clutter and backing up devices are processes which are often overlooked,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas said. “However, it could make all the difference should your device(s) fail or become infected with malware or viruses.”
Conducting a digital spring cleaning is not only necessary, it is relatively easy. NCSA and BBB advise the following:
If you have a few extra hours or minutes in your day, it may be a good time to give yourself a digital makeover. Taking simple, proactive steps will go a long way in safeguarding against potentially disruptive issues – like identity theft, loss of funds, or credit card fraud – that can cause mayhem by compromising your data. Take the time to practice a few precautionary measures, and you will have greater peace of mind – not only this spring but all year round.
NCSA and the BBB encourage people to check their smartphones, laptops, and tablets and take a few minutes to review these tips.
Lock down your login: Security is critical to protecting accounts used for work and home. Ensure passphrases for each account are lengthy, unique, and safely stored. Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts which offer it.
Update your system and software: Avoid procrastination! The most current software, web browsers, and operating systems are some of the easiest and fastest ways to protect your most sensitive assets.
Back it up: Protect your personal and workplace data by making electronic copies – or backups – of your most important files. Use the 3-2-1 rule to help guide you: three backup copies, two different media types, and one offline in a separate location.
Clean up your online presence: When did you last use all the apps on your phone or tablet? Do you know the settings on all social media accounts that check in with friends and family? Check up on all your accounts. Then, control your role by ensuring you know who has administrative access to your accounts. Keep all of your passwords private.
Be careful what you share: Quizzes on social media are fun, and keeping in touch is necessary. However, questions on social media might give away too much information about you, your location, or your family.
In addition to following the above-listed tips, small business owners should take time to establish, update, and communicate policies and procedures around topics like record retention. It is also imperative that a cybersecurity strategy is in place and used by all employees. BBB has tips on BBB.org/bizhq on how to avoid online scams when working from home.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. BBB offices can be found across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central East Texas, which was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.