The concept of spring cleaning has been around for hundreds of years (it may have originated with either Jewish or Chinese culture, according to How Stuff Works), but now the Times Free Press is urging people to include “digital spring cleaning” into the annual clean-out ritual.
The National Cyber Security Alliance, in conjunction with the Better Business Bureau, have created a series of tips to assist people to keep their digital clutter under control and their sensitive information safe.
Similarly to utilizing an accredited paper shredding service to dispose of unwanted paperwork, people are advised to utilize hard drive shredding to dispose of unwanted hard drives, cell phones, and other electronic items.
The importance of using a licensed and accredited data destruction company cannot be overstated. While many people believe that hard drives can effectively be destroyed with a hammer or water, the fact remains that these methods are not effective. As the Times Free Press noted, “Using a hammer to hit a drive only slows down a determined cybercriminal.” The data is still contained on the device, and can be readily accessed. Professional hard drive shredding by a professional, NAID accredited data destruction company is the only failsafe way of accomplishing your digital spring cleaning.
Hard drive shredding and paper shredding are not the only actions needed to properly effect digital spring cleaning. Updating passwords and enabling two-step authentication where offered are other ways of securing your digital data.
Many people are guilty of reusing passwords on multiple accounts, and for leaving passwords unchanged for months or even years. As inconvenient as it can admittedly be, regularly updating passwords is essential to maintain your digital security. And with digital spring cleaning set to become just as prevalent as regular spring cleaning, at least everyone’s passwords will be updated once a year.