The onset of the digital age was supposed to declutter our lives, promising fewer file cabinets and freed up desktops as content moves into the cloud. While the switch to digital has certainly freed up room in the physical world – at the very least desktop computers are becoming rarer by the day – the documents that once created messes in our homes and offices are now piling up in cyberspace.
It’s not uncommon to hear the term “digital hoarder” in the modern vernacular, as people frequently and mindlessly snap photos or take notes only to send them off into a disorganized cloud where they will never be seen again. The “out of sight, out of mind” nature of the cloud has made us complacent about its limitations, which often becomes apparent at the most inconvenient times. People don’t generally think about organizing (or dumping) their storage until they go to snap a vacation photo or download an important note on their mobile device only to be given the dreaded “storage full” warning.
Disorganized storage can also result in far greater consequences than just undocumented vacation memories. If a hacker, for instance, were able to compromise the security of your device and a piece of personal or financial information were to be carelessly stored on it, they could easily commit identity fraud and even access your personal accounts.
Prioritize your accounts and apps…
Without realizing it, most of us have quite the tangled web of accounts that connect to our devices. Along with the multitude of social media, email, online shopping and banking accounts that we accrue, there are probably many others that have in one way or another connected to your mobile device that you may not remember opening.
Go in and aggressively remove any accounts or applications that you don’t use regularly. Once you’ve taken stock of the remaining accounts, check the privacy settings to make sure that your passwords are all unique and that your privacy settings are as secure as possible.
Switch up your old passwords…
Cyber security experts recommend changing passwords every six months to a year on all of your accounts. This doesn’t mean switching all of your accounts over to the same new password every six months, or using a rotating roster of passwords that you switch between accounts: Get a new password every time and never repeat it.
This will be much more tenable once you’ve whittled down your number of accounts, and any objection to a lack of possible passwords is a moot – the whole point is to make passwords hard for others to guess, just be careful about where you store yours.
Take the extra step with your backup…
Your device may offer you a cloud service that allows you to backup the data you have stored, but you should consider keeping sensitive information like financial records and tax files together in an encrypted folder on a removable storage device like Link from Fasetto. This is also the perfect device for storing music and non-essential files since Link gives you the freedom to access those files wherever you are in the world and whether or not you are connected to your provider’s cloud.