Get started with digital spring cleaning

Spring is officially here, which means garages and gutters, and basements everywhere are set for their annual round of being sorted and cleaned. That’s all well and good, but there’s a few more spaces around the house you should consider adding to your spring cleaning To Do list.

Before the good weather truly arrives and the serious spring cleaning begins, we suggest you hunker down on the couch and tidy up your digital spaces first. Here’s where we’d start:

Junk out old apps and software

These days, we’re all flooded with data and swimming in a world of connected devices, apps, and services. Before you know it, our phones and laptops are stuffed with unused apps.

The rule is simple: If you can’t remember the last time you used a particlar app, piece of software, or online service, it’s time to log out, delete, and/or terminate your subscription. Not only will unusued apps and software clutter your device’s storage, they often run in the background. They can be slowing your processing speed, draining your battery, and transmitting miscellaneous information.

Go one step further than deletion

Have you ever signed into a new app or online service with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account? It’s convenient, to be sure, but it’s also easy to lose track of the apps and companies that have access to your personal information.

Do yourself a favour and check out which apps and services have permission to access your Twitter, Facebook, and Google accounts. For Twitter, login and go to “Settings and privacy > Apps”. For Facebook, login and go to “Settings > Apps”. For Google, login and go to “My Account > Connected apps & sites”. Revoke permissions for any apps and services you can’t remember installing or no longer use.

Secure your passwords

Password security should be your very next priority, especially if you tend to use the same handful of passwords for all of your logins. For maximum peace of mind, consider snagging some simple password management software, such as 1Password, Dashlane, or LastPass.

These managers link to the online services you use and regularly generate new, random, hard-to-crack passwords, which you can manage from a central dashboard. All you need to remember is the password to your password manager...

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