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Cybersecurity Spring Cleaning

Cybersecurity Spring Cleaning

Spring isn't just a good time for cleaning your home, it's also a good time to clean up your technology! Doing this kind of spring cleaning can remove the clutter from your digital life while at the same time protecting you and your loved ones.
Here is a simple list you can follow to make sure you're hitting all the areas of your cyber footprint.

  • Passwords
    • Review your passwords, update them as needed if they are not strong. A strong password should be more than 10 characters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols, and include no obvious personal information or common words.
    • Each account should have it's own unique password, don't reuse!
    • Consider a password manager, if you don't have one.
    • Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) on accounts if it is available.
  • Email
    • Review all your email accounts. Organize your folders and delete the items you no longer need.
    • Be sure that there is no personally identifiable information stored in your email.
    • Review and update contacts.
    • Review and update email filters to send spam and unwanted e-marketing messages into another folder.
  • Social Media
    • Review all accounts and associated privacy settings.
    • Review any photos or videos and delete those you no longer want to make viewable.
    • Search yourself online to see what comes up.
    • Don't just delete a social media app that you are no long using, delete your ENTIRE profile.
    • Check out these CISA Social Media Cybersecurity tips.
  • Update Devices
    • Make sure all applications, operating systems and devices like computers, tablets, phones, smart devices, TVs, etc.) are updated and are set to update on a regular basis. Updates often patch security vulnerabilities so they are very important to do!
  • Backups
    • Review your backup routines, schedule and what you are backing up.
    • Test your backups and validate they are successful.
    • Make sure you can restore from a backup.
  • Disposal
    • Properly shred or destroy all unnecessary paper documents or files. Also consider if you should switch to electronic delivery of statements or bills. It can be more secure than having it mailed and less paper is used!
    • Dispose of old electronics properly:

While it does take a some time to go through all of these steps, cleaning up the digital clutter can help secure your online identity and keep your information safe!

- Article developed from the MS-ISAC Monthly Security Tips Newsletter, Volume 16, Issue 3, March 2021

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