Spring Cleaning – Geek Style!

“It’s time for Spring Cleaning!” I used to cringe when my Mom said that, because I knew it meant I’d be plenty busy. Now I understand how important it is. But what I’ve learned even more recently, is that it’s a great idea to apply to technology. Once a year I set time aside to clean up my technology act.

Even if you’re great about managing your tech at work, don’t forget about getting it right at home. It’s the small tasks that are easy to do, but often forgotten when we are busy, that are the most significant – once they are done.

Back-Up, Download and Delete!

How many times have you lost precious photos, important documents and other data because you hadn’t quite gotten around to backing up your devices? Your company has probably had Terrapin take care of this for you at work, but is your data at home just as secure? Consider backing up your data up to the cloud. Or, if you prefer to be more personally in charge of the process, back up your data to an external hard drive. Did you know you can buy a 2 TB external hard drive for under $100? Your peace of mind will be worth the time and investment.

Also think about all of those recordings on your devices. Download photos and videos to free up space. Your smart phones and tablets will thank you.

On a similar note, go through your folders and delete files you don’t need. Get rid of unnecessary emails and contacts while you’re at it. Also review portable devices and delete apps you aren’t using.

Get Your Inbox in Order

Email management can seem like a giant chore, but living with hundreds of unread emails, spam messages, etc. all in one place isn’t glorious either.

Take time to organize your Inbox. Make sure any rules and filters you’ve set up in the past make sense today. If you haven’t already, set up folders for each important client or topic to you so you can easily drag and drop messages making them easier to find later.

Think Safety

It’s still surprising to see how few people have complex passcodes on their mobile devices, or current, up-to-date anti-virus software installed on their computers –– even in a business environment. Now is the time to make sure you’re doing all you can to make tech safety a priority.

  • Change your device passcodes each spring. It’s hard to believe, but many smart business professionals still don’t have security enabled. Set up thumbprint security on your mobile device and change your passcode.
  • If you are an iPhone user, set up your iCloud account so you can activate Find My iPhone. Not only does this help you locate a lost device, but allows you to wipe your data remotely if your phone is lost or stolen.
  • Find out what’s new in computer anti-virus protection. There are new companies popping up and offering both good free and paid protection. If you’re unsure which one suits your needs, check with Terrapin for recommendations. If you think you can’t get malware on your Mac, think again. A new ransomware virus, nicknamed “KeRanger” hit Apple users recently. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Change your password for your social media and website accounts. Start using two-factor authentication, if it is offered.
  • Make sure your home network is secure. Set a complex password on your home Wi-Fi router and only share it with trusted friends and family.

Get Rid of Old Hardware

We all have an old printer or six-pound laptop sitting around. It’s not cool to simply put your electronic devices in the trash. Many communities and schools have an “electronic disposal” day – make note of those dates and take advantage of them. Just be sure to remove all CDs and DVDs before saying goodbye to your devices. And definitely wipe your hard drive clean of any personal information.

Now it’s time to get busy! You’ll never regret adding technology to your spring cleaning ritual. And, remember, you can always ask a Terrapin Technology Group team member for help or advice with any of these topics.