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Spring Cleaning to Secure Your Digital Life

Tidy Up Your Digital Life

It’s time to delete those digital dust bunnies – that includes programs you don’t use and unimportant files littering your desktop. Here are a few quick tips to get started:

  • Cleanup your PC workspace: Some programs automatically create a short-cut that will be displayed as an icon on your desktop. Deleting short-cuts that you don’t use will not delete the program, but it will keep your desktop clean and organized.  
  • Get organized: Create categories for your files (work, financial statements, family photos, kids’ homework, etc.), then create and label folders to bucket your files into. Delete unimportant items that don’t belong in either folder. When all is squared away – create a backup to save your files in a secure location other than your device hard drive.
  • Update your passwords: Regularly updating your passwords across all accounts and devices is a good digital security habit to adopt even when you’re not spring cleaning. Passwords are the keys to accessing your digital life and more important data, like financial information. Make sure to use a complex and unique password for each account. Using a free password manager tool like Norton Identity Safe can make logging into your favorite sites easier and more secure. Plus, always opt-in to two factor authentication when the services you use offer this in addition to password protection.  

Cleaning House: Securing Your Kids’ Data

While your kids are minding their chores to help spring clean the house offline, keep their digital presence not only tidy but secure. Educate yourself and your family about social networking – be responsible about what you share and how to use privacy settings and restrictions. Information such as real names, a child’s age, their school’s name and the city that they live in should not be shared publicly to avoid risks like identity theft or cyberstalking.  With the free Norton Family tool, parents can monitor kids’ social network use, protect sensitive personal information, and much more. Norton Family social network monitoring provides insights into kids' social media use, including how frequently they log in to Facebook from their PC, and the name and age they use on their profile.

Security Sweep: Rid Your Device of Risky Apps

Do you know what the apps on your mobile are up to? Apps, especially free ones, can come with hidden costs. The Symantec Internet Security Threat report found that 32 percent of malicious android apps stole users’ personal information. Rid your device of risky apps in three simple steps:

  • Only download apps from legitimate app stores. Beware the free app with hidden costs, like leaking private information or background activity that can drain your device battery. Often free apps are only posing as alternate versions of a legitimate, paid app - educate yourself on how-to spot a fake app.
  • Read the fine print. Be sure to read app permissions before accepting and downloading. Access to more data than the app’s intended function needs can be an indicator of risky app behavior.
  • Install security software like Norton Mobile Security, which identifies and removes apps that contain malware, intrusive greyware, and potential privacy risks.

Out with the old: Wipe Away Your Digital Data

Donating and recycling old devices is a great way to de-clutter – just be sure you are not recycling your data in the process. If your data is recovered on an old device it can be used to commit identity theft or fraud. Make a secure backup of your irreplaceable photos and files with Norton Security with Backup. Then delete and wipe devices of all data and reset to factory settings. Lastly don’t forget to remove any SIM or memory cards.