This new year, you could have resolved to quit a vice, learn something new, manage your finances better, and check a couple off your bucket list of places to visit. Cybersecurity company Kaspersky recommends clearing out digital clutter to safeguard your valuable information.
Users create digital files and install apps at an unstoppable rate but rarely update or review them. This results in digital clutter, which sits idly on devices and in the cloud.
Poor user maintenance causes digital clutter. Kaspersky found that 55% of people regularly delete unused content, 32% sort clutter occasionally, and 13% never delete anything.
A Kaspersky report showed the top five data that are commonly stored on devices are general photos and videos (90%), pictures and videos of travel and personal emails (tied at 89% each), address information/contact information (84%), and personal messages via SMS/IM (79%).
In 2023, three major cyber incidents occurred in the Philippines, causing fear, anger, and frustration among Filipinos. These incidents ranged from ransomware attacks to data leaks, compromising public data and personal financial information. The incidents affected government, businesses, and ordinary people alike.
Kaspersky suggests doing one or more of these tips to become safe digitally this new year:
Kiss passwords goodbye
Apple, Google, and Microsoft introduced a passwordless sign-in feature in 2022 where your device stores a unique cryptographic key for each site. This slashes the risk of hijacking your account and eliminates the need to remember and enter passwords. Chrome, Edge, and Safari support this technology on desktop and mobile platforms.
Data theft is a common digital risk. Data is stolen from ISPs, insurance companies, delivery services, social networks, and schools. This information is used for scams. Minimize the risk by sharing minimal information and using disposable email addresses and phone numbers. You can also use temporary credit card numbers for online transactions.
Get away from toxic social media
If you had trouble with social media in 2023, consider leaving it for good this year. Kaspersky provides “walk away” tips to help you leave without losing valuable data. Alternatively, switch to other platforms like Telegram or Mastodon.
Stop doom scrolling
Use your phone’s built-in time limit feature to limit your time on social networks and news sites. Start with an hour a day and try to stick to it. Many vendors, such as Apple’s Screen Time, Google’s Digital Wellbeing, and Huawei’s Digital Balance, offer this feature. For kids, Kaspersky Safe Kids can help. YouTube also has a feature called Take a Break.
Keep private and work lives separate
Separating work and personal life benefits physical and mental health and improves cybersecurity. The ideal way to maintain separation is to use different devices for work and personal life and avoid using personal sites or social networks on your work device.
Observe cyber hygiene
Use security software on all devices, create unique passwords for each site, and update apps and software regularly. Neglecting these precautions can lead to cyberattacks. A solution like Kaspersky Premium can help keep all devices secure and up-to-date.
Kaspersky Premium has a Hard Disk Cleaner and Health Monitor feature that:
- removes duplicate and large files from your PC and declutters unused apps from your Android phone
- alerts you if your hard drive is about to crash so you can back up your photos, files, and data
This solution also has Performance Optimization that helps your computer run faster by:
- deleting invalid Windows Registry entries
- cleaning your folders and emptying your recycle bin
- turning off data-hungry apps and stopping some apps from opening as you switch your PC on
- prompting you to install app and software updates so your device gets the latest security
“It’s been found that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions due to a lack of personal control, excessive stress and negative emotion. I say start small until it becomes a habit. A few simple changes in the beginning will go a long way towards protecting yourself and your data. Stay committed and most importantly, get help. There are so many resources, tools and people that you can count on for support to help you keep your resolutions,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.