Digital Spring Cleaning: Tips to Protect Your Identity Online

  
     
April 17, 2017

Spring is here, and with that, comes Spring cleaning.  While San Diegans are dusting out their cabinets and scrubbing their windows, the Better Business Bureau is reminding them to clean up their digital life.

“Whether you’re tech savvy or not, you don’t assume to be careless about you’re information online, however, when you leave financial records, personal contacts, photos and videos on your devices, all of that data can fall into the wrong hands” informed Michael Sedio, Vice President of Operations at BBB.

Deleting outdated files and uninstalling unused programs can help you secure your information and even improve the performance of your devices.  Simply ensure that you’re backing up any essential documents and media on an external hard drive before following through.


BBB is advising the following steps to clean up your digital footprint:

  • Clean Up. Delete old photos, posts and any other content from your social media that no longer represents who you are.
  • Review. Update your profile information on personal and professional social media accounts.
  • Check. Look over the privacy settings on your social media and websites to ensure nothing is public without your consent.
  • Inspect. Confirm that all contacts on your social media still belong and that there aren’t suspicious duplicate connections.

When cleaning up your desktop and mobile devices, be sure to: 

  • Delete. Clear out old emails, folders and outdated financial statements.
  • Uninstall and Update. Remove unused applications from your mobile devices and update existing ones. 
  • Remove. Eliminate any unused plug-ins and browser extensions as they update without notification and can contain malware.
  • Secure. Be sure your router’s name isn’t notifying everyone who you are or your address. 
  • Lock Down. Create passwords for all digital devices, combining upper and lower case letters with numbers and symbols.


For more information on how to protect your identity online, check out bbb.org/cybersecurity, and the Identity Theft Resource Center at idtheftcenter.org.