Digital cleaning: purging and protecting files

We’ve all heard the importance of changing your smoke detector batteries in spring and fall during daylight savings time. You ensure safe driving by taking your car in for maintenance every 15,000 miles. And Arsenal Credit Union offers free shred days in the spring and fall to eliminate documents you don’t need anymore.

But what about your digital life? Purging and protecting files can help keep your information secure.

Here’s a handy outline to help you get started:

  • Save only those emails you really need, and delete or archive what you don’t need.
  • Empty your deleted mail folders.
  • Delete or archive older files such as numerous drafts of the same document and outdated financial statements.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters, email alerts and updates you no longer read.
  • Delete photos you don’t want, then back up the ones you want to keep.
  • Review contacts on social media and in your email and phone. Delete those you don’t need anymore.
  • Permanently delete old files.
  • If you are disposing of your electronics, take advantage of free recycling of computer hard drives that Arsenal offers at events held in the summer in cooperation with certified recycling companies.
  • Make passwords longer and better, combining capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols. Having passwords that are too short or easy to guess is like leaving the front door to your home unlocked.
  • Have separate passwords ‒ at least for key accounts like email, banking and social networking ‒ to help thwart cybercriminals.

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