Cyber spring cleaning: Organizing your digital home

Emma McGowan 22 Mar 2023

From bloated inboxes to unused apps, here are five tips to tackle cyber chaos.

Spring cleaning season is among us, and that means tackling overstuffed drawers, orderless cabinets and overflowing closets. It's time to tidy up those neglected spaces not only in your physical home but in your parallel digital home as well. And we all know that the biggest space crowders are those unused files littering your desktops, phones, tablets, and more.

Performing a quick scrub across your accounts and devices helps you operate more efficiently and provides much needed protection against malware and other cyber threats. So, here are some tips to get a handle on organizing your digital belongings. 

 Develop a digital organization system

Leverage a digital organization system that works best to help organize your essential files. Having these items in designated places will reduce the time spent locating them and the chances of rummaging through unimportant files that can cause distractions when seeking critical, time-sensitive information.

Essential files such as family photos, work documents, and financial statements can be sorted into earmarked folders. Once your files are neatly arranged, back these up through a cloud backup service or external hard drive to keep them safe and accessible.

Create folders for your email accounts 

Emails can quickly flood inboxes, creating a chaotic mess. Having separate email accounts for different uses, such as one for your personal and one for your professional life, will minimize the need to open every single email you receive and prioritize the ones that need immediate attention.

Similar to organizing important physical files, create labeled folders to help categorize emails. If an email contains information you may need to reference later, moving it to a dedicated folder will make it easier to access and locate when needed. 

Practice password hygiene 

A good password protects your digital belongings like a home security system and helps achieve peace of mind by knowing that you're covered. Routinely updating and changing existing passwords reduces the risk of hacked credentials, and protects your devices from cyber threats and attacks. Create a unique password containing at least twelve upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to make it difficult for cybercriminals to access your information.

Sweep your devices

Keep your digital home secure with reliable security software. Avast One Platinum goes beyond an antivirus, providing an integrated service including identity theft protection, dark web monitoring and 24/7 tech support services.

Avast One Platinum monitors the sources where highly sensitive personal information could be leaked online. And if your information is found, Avast One Platinum will send an alert so that you can contact Avast's 24/7 certified protection experts to regain control of devices and accounts, if compromised.

Curate your files to maximize storage

A considerable amount of storage space is spent on unnecessary files, ranging from unread e-newsletters to unused apps. Periodically conduct a digital storage audit. We recommend checking devices twice a year to determine whether you need every file or app. If you don’t need it, delete it, or back it up in a digital storage space, much like you would in a basement or storage unit.

Happy spring cleaning! 

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