BBB and National Cyber Security Alliance Urge Digital Spring Cleaning for All Internet Users

  
     
When making your home spick and span this spring, remember to clean up your cyber clutter, too.

Arlington, VA (April 1, 2016) – Better Business Bureau and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) are encouraging consumers to put cybersecurity top of mind by urging them to make digital devices an additional target of their spring cleaning activities. NCSA and BBB encourage everyone to make a thorough “digital spring cleaning” an annual ritual. Internet users can get a fresh start with their online life by keeping all machines clean, purging their online files, enhancing security features and ensuring that their online reputation shines.

“Seasonal changes always have an impact on our lives ‒ whether it’s the biannual changing of our clocks or swapping our skis for a baseball glove. It has also become the time to declutter and start anew,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “Our lives have become increasingly connected and, with multiple devices, we accumulate digital clutter that needs attention. That’s why we’re adding a new spin on spring cleaning that can help you be more secure online, protect valuable, personal information and avoid identity theft. By following our handy checklist, investing a little time each week and performing a series of simple chores, you can dramatically strengthen your security posture. In addition, your digital life will be more manageable and you will have peace of mind that you are helping protect your family and the extended online community while enjoying the Internet with greater confidence.”

“For many years, BBB has hosted Secure Your ID Day shredding events to help consumers safely dispose of paper files they no longer need,” noted Mary E. Power, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “In recent years, many events have added electronic shredding to the mix to help consumers deal with old hard drives and other electronic data storage. We are urging more businesses, employers and institutions to join with us in hosting shred events for employees and customers to safely scrap documents and files that could be used for identity theft. This year’s Secure Your ID Day is April 16, but any day is a good day for digital spring cleaning.”

One of the hardest parts of any decluttering process is determining what to undertake first ‒ not to mention deciding who will do what. So why not approach your digital spring cleaning like a pro? Create an action plan that assigns maintenance tasks to appropriate family members. NCSA’s downloadable Digital Spring Cleaning Checklist is user-friendly and will help keep everyone organized. The checklist includes a four-week list of tasks grouped together by category. Parents are urged to get the whole family involved as some duties may be better for adults to handle and others are perfectly suited for kids.

Follow this four-week outline and clean up your family’s online life with an easy-to-follow timeline and plan:

View the checklist online: bbb.org/digital-spring-cleaning

Download a PDF: staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/digital-spring-cleaning-checklist