Spring Clean Your Online Life

Spring Clean Your Online Life

Spring Clean Your Online Life

Justin Lavelle
March 22, 2016

Spring is upon us and people feel the urge to organize, clean and start fresh with their physical spaces. Classic Spring cleaning activities include rearranging furniture, donating clothes to charity and rearranging and discarding files.

But as more of our lives have increasingly moved from physical spaces to digital ones, are you keeping up with the digital excess that needs to be pruned from your life, or are you simply letting it build up in a forgotten email folder?

In an age of hackers, cybersecurity threats and rampant ID theft, there are good reasons to keep up with your online life and ensure it is organized and secure, just as you would with the items that populate your physical world.

Here are some key digital areas for your consideration:

Online memberships

We all sign up for usernames on dozens of online web sites, perhaps to take advantage of a special retail deal or to gain access to a free E-book. But do you know all of the places that have your name, email and other personal details? It’s worth going through the trouble to close memberships at sites you have no further business with and ensure your personal details are secure.

Email subscriptions

Another consequence of signing up on many different web sites is that you end up subscribed to plenty of email lists, too. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it’s likely your interests and needs have changed in the years since you first signed up for that home brew email list. It only takes a moment to hit “unsubscribe” to the bottom of unwanted emails as they come in, or use a service like Unroll.me, which will automatically identify and unsubscribe you from email lists.

Digital files

As banks and insurance companies increasingly offer “paperless” options, it’s tempting to simply hit the archive button and never think about that bank statement or other file. A better approach is to create dedicated file folders in your email service or better yet, use a digital filing cabinet like Evernote, which lets you tag your digital files for quick access.

Social media profiles

This is perhaps the big one. People tend to leave more personal data on social media profiles, including personal photos, addresses and workplace info. Take a few moments to update such information or even close accounts that you no longer utilize. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn make it fairly easy to review and adjust privacy settings.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.