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Good digital hygiene isn’t about washing your hands

BUSINESS BUILDING

Published: 

Hygiene has always been important but COVID-19 and all the related events of the pandemic have brought it to the forefront. We’re now all well aware of the importance of physical hygiene- hand washing, mask wearing, sanitising and generally keeping things clean. But when it comes to your digital life, hygiene is also really important. 

And good digital hygiene won’t just help you keep things safe and make your life a bit less stressful, it can also be better for the planet by helping you save energy and digital storage space.

AUTHOR

The PXT team

Co-founder @ Pixel Together


Tuesday 1st March 2022

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What is digital hygiene?

'Practising digital hygiene is about keeping your data clean, well protected, and only hanging on to what you actually need.'

Practising digital hygiene is about keeping your data clean, well protected, and only hanging on to what you actually need. We’ve all heard horror stories about people who lost entire projects through not backing up, became locked out of important accounts due to not having their password information, or even suffered cyber crime like identity theft. Getting on top of your digital hygiene helps to mitigate all of these threats.

While it sounds complicated, there are some simple things that you can do today.

Image credit: Elisa Calvet B.

Want a quick fix for sanity and computer speed? Take a deep breath and close your open tabs. Use a read-later service like Pocket, and set a date to review what you’ve saved. You might be surprised at how much better your computer runs without all those tabs open in the background!

Close some tabs

Image Credit: Jason Leung

'Setting up a password manager can take some time as you migrate every account across to the new system, but you’ll thank yourself every time you can log in securely with one simple click!'

Use a password manager

As well as helping to spare you the annoyance of remembering all your passwords, a password manager is a simple way to improve your digital security by helping you to set strong passwords for every account that you use. When given the option, make sure you enable 2-factor authentication to provide another layer of security.


Setting up a password manager can take some time as you migrate every account across to the new system, but you’ll thank yourself every time you can log in securely with one simple click! Oh and while you’re doing the migration, it’s a good chance to assess which accounts you actually need (and actually need to have your personal information).


Here’s WIRED on what to look for in a password manager

Image credit: Nathan Dumlao

Remember all those platforms that you signed up for when they were the Next Big Thing? Yup. Close them. When you close an account make sure you go through the additional steps that are generally required to ensure that your information is completely removed, rather than just having your account be suspended or inactive.

As you’re inventorying your platforms, make sure you take the time to update anything that’s not quite current, yes, even your operating system. Updates are an important way for software providers to send out fixes for any known security issues, but these are only effective if you take the time to update and install.

Next, it’s time to go through and delete the files you’re not using, and remove the old software programmes. Back up older items that you’re unlikely to need to access but don’t want to get rid of using encrypted and securely stored external drives.

Marie Kondo your digital life

Give yourself the wonderful gift of a clutter-free inbox. As well as saving you time and helping you quickly get to them important things, you’ll enjoy the sanity of a cleaner inbox. There are a number of services that you can use to help you still get important content. Try using Refind.com for a daily digest of what people in your network are sharing on social media. 


While you’re attacking your in-box, consider implementing a system to keep things clear going forward. We’re still yet to find a better approach than Get Things Done, which helps you to effectively triage email messages and create a workflow.


Learn about Get Things Done for email


Deep breath! With your digital life in order, you’re ready to attack those projects. Congratulations!

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AUTHOR

Published: 

Tuesday 1st March 2022

Co-founder @ Pixel Together

The PXT team

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