The arrival of spring gives many of us the urge to refresh and renew – clearing our homes, offices and minds of any junk from the sluggish winter months. So, while you’re cleaning out those dusty wardrobes, why not tidy up your online security, too?

When it comes to managing your accounts online, think of Dashlane as your personal butler. By following a few simple data protection steps, you can enjoy convenience and simplicity without compromising trust or security. So if you’d rather spend those glorious summer months not worrying about all that, read on…

  1. Polish Your Passwords

Still typing password1234 at every security prompt? Or do you have some complicated personal system – but use it across 20 or so different logins? You can be hacked in three minutes, and with the majority of us not taking due diligence by enabling different passwords for each online account, chances are you’re not secure. Create a complex code for each login using combinations of letters, cases, numbers, and special characters.

  1. Vacuum for viruses

Last week’s discovery of the “Freak” encryption vulnerability was just the latest in a long line of software flaws that might expose your data. As well as practicing solid password management, the time to invest in further security is now. Install any updates to your operating system, software and apps to protect your computer and devices from new attacks. And consider each flagged-up security breach a reminder to run a check for the latest patches.

  1. Clean out your inbox

Time to scour your system for toxic spam mail, eliminating the security fear factor as well the frustration factor. Delete any suspicious looking messages and obviously don’t click any links they contain or download any attached files. Set up your inbox to divert spam to your junk mailbox. Some email services – such as Google’s Gmail – can attempt to unsubscribe you from random services that clog your inbox. Unroll.me is also a great tool for cleaning up your inbox, letting you unsubscribe from emails with ease.

  1. Weed out your web browser

Your internet browser is like a dog – treat it well, train it correctly, and it’ll be your best ally out in the cyber world. All browsers will let you control and limit pop-ups, and plugins are available that watch for any rogue sites that attempt to install malware. But enabling certain features to increase convenience or functionality may, on the other hand, leave you more vulnerable to attack. So examine your settings, and choose options that meet your needs without putting you at increased risk. Dashlane adds auto-fill and auto-login for a secure extra layer of protection on site authorizations and online payments so you’re covered on all ecosystems anyway. Get ahead of the curve, now.

  1. Out with the Old

Finally, take a moment to review your security setup in general, to see if there are things you should overhaul or – like the old tins of paint you’re pointlessly keeping in the garage – discard completely. From simple things – like do you write your passwords down? Are they safe? – to adding safeguards to the online lives of those around you. And always have a backup: nominate a trusted emergency contact, colleague or friend for key online accounts should you forget or get locked out of password-protected accounts. Dashlane’s Emergency feature lets you do just that.