As spring arrives, we’re seeing more of the inside of our homes than we’d probably prefer. The tradition of spring cleaning is a great reminder to get our closets in order, especially since these days they are as likely to be full of clothes as playing kids. But beyond finally emptying out that junk drawer inexplicably filled with rubber bands—always so many rubber bands—there’s the digital detritus to consider alongside the dusty shoe rack.
But let’s be honest. Sometimes, getting your digital life in order can feel overwhelming and time-consuming. Luckily, we can help! We put together this handy list of easy digital spring cleaning tips to help you clean up your digital life in no time—no rubber gloves required.
Unsubscribe from promotional emails
I have one mantra when it comes to my email inbox: Aggressively unsubscribe. Every few months I need to do this. Especially now when companies collect your email address in all kinds of ways. You buy one t-shirt from Old Navy and suddenly your inbox is jammed with daily promos. Try this handy tool, unroll.me, that helps you unsubscribe to emails en masse. Here is further information on how to unsubscribe based on whatever email service you use.
Update and change your passwords
Data breaches can go undetected for months and sometimes years. What’s the best way to protect yourself? Stop reusing the same passwords on multiple accounts. All your accounts—but especially those that store sensitive information like credit card or social security numbers—should be protected with strong, unique passwords. Check out how to stop reusing your passwords for good with Dashlane.
Enable two-factor identification
After you’ve updated your important passwords, set up two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA adds an extra layer of security by verifying your identity using two of three possible identifiers: something you know (your password, PIN number, zip code, etc.) something you are (via facial recognition, your fingerprints, retina scans, etc.), or something you have (a smartcard, your smartphone, etc.).
Delete old accounts
The average American has around 150 accounts. That’s 150 places your personal information is stored and where you’ve potentially reused passwords in the past. (Sorry Neopets circa 2002, we’re looking at you.) For more on how to fight back against these “zombie” accounts, check here.
Ditch unused apps
That app that you just had to download…there is a good chance you haven’t touched it since. For the same reasons we outline above, get rid of it! According to Appboy, fewer than 25% of users return to an app after the first time they use it. So do yourself (and your phone storage) a favor and delete apps you’ll never use again.
Clean up your desktop
This is an easy one. Putting files into random folders is akin to shoving socks under the bed, it looks better but doesn’t fix the problem. Better to implement a system! We don’t discriminate—here are handy guides for both PC and Mac users.
Tackle your tabs problem
Who among us has not ended a work day with no less than 30 tabs open? You don’t know what they are. You don’t remember why you opened them. But you can not close them! Maybe there’s something important in there. This is exactly why browser bookmarks were invented. Here’s some tips for how to organize yours.