ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Spring has sprung, which is a cue for many to do some spring cleaning. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to remind you while you’re clearing out the physical clutter to clear out the digital clutter, as well.
According to the BBB, digital clutter can lead to a number of issues like identity theft, credit card fraud, and more.
“Any time your information is out there, it gives them an opportunity for identity theft or another breach of your personal information,” said Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western Virginia.
The BBB put together a Digital De-Clutter Checklist with some steps you can take to protect yourself from cybercriminals:
- Close accounts you no longer use and double check the settings on accounts you use to check in with friends and family.
- Change your password to something lengthy and unique.
- Get rid of apps on your tablet and phone you no longer use.
- Make sure your virus and malware protection, software, web browsers, and operating system are up to date.
- Back up your files on an external hard drive or on an online backup service (such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or Amazon Cloud Drive) to protect your personal and workplace data. Also make electronic backup copies of your most important files.
- Digital Shred, computers, and mobile phones aren’t the only devices that capture and store sensitive personal data. Make sure to get rid of external hard drives and USBs you no longer need.
While doing your spring cleaning, you may have stumbled on sensitive documents laying around. If you want to get rid of it, the BBB says to shred it rather than throw it away.
The BBB is hosting a free Community Shred Day at the Salem Civic Center from 8 to 11 a.m. on April 24. You can bring up to three boxes of sensitive documents to be properly shredded.