It’s spring and it’s time to fling open the windows and let the flower-scented breezes waft through your abode and refresh your living space. And just like your home, your computers need to be cleaned up and the garbage needs to be thrown out…That is, unless you want to make it on to a new reality TV show called “Digital Hoarders.”
Just like physical hoarders, a digital hoarder’s inability to delete obsolete data and other useless items from their computing devices could lead to big problems. If not a personal crisis, then possibly an electronic break-down.
While a clean up can improve your device performance, and save you time, I’m betting that most of you don’t need professional assistance to find the strength to get rid of old, unnecessary electronic files and obsolete documents. So just follow these instructions (some of which assume you have Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Security) to clean up your computers, improve device performance, and free up disk space:
□ Email – Sort your messages
- Keep only the messages you currently need in your inbox
- Move “keepers” into specific folder others
i. Create folders by topic or by the sender’s name
- Delete all the old emails you know you will never need to or want to look at again
□ Web Browser – Sort your links and clear histories
- Organize your bookmarks and delete broken links or ones you no longer use
(Unfortunately, this is time-consuming since you have to do it one at a time.)
- Clear the cache, cookies, and old temp files
□ Documents – Sort into three categories these files that sit on your computer’s hard drive
- Keep only documents that you currently need, using Titanium’s Vault to safeguard your confidential files
- Archive other documents and images by activating your Trend Micro™ SafeSync™ account and backing them up
- Delete the remaining by using Titanium’s Secure Erase feature to shred files with sensitive information
□ Programs – Delete those that you no longer need or use
- Select the “All Programs” option and right-click the unwanted program and then select “Delete” from the drop-down menu
- Or, go into your “Control Panel” and select “Uninstall a program”
□ Run maintenance and troubleshooting checks – Scans can be initiated in your computer’s control panel
- Run a defragmenting or disk cleanup program
- Run Titanium’s System Tuner to help you recover disk space and optimize your computer’s performance
□ Updates – Especially Your Security Software
- Update your software, including antivirus, if it doesn’t update automatically.
- Change any password you have changed recently. Frequent changes to passwords are one of the best ways you can defend your accounts against intrusion. You probably should try out Trend Micro™ DirectPass™ for assistance with managing passwords and creating strong ones.
If you suspect that your PC is infected, use Titanium™ Security to run a full scan of your computer. Or use Trend Micro™ HouseCall™ – a free tool – to make sure your system is clean. You can scan your PC for a wide range of Internet security threats including viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware. HouseCall identifies and fixes vulnerabilities to help prevent re-infection.
Now for the spit and polish
Now, let’s go to the outside of your computers or other devices. Get some rubbing alcohol and a special micro-fiber cloth that won’t leave streaks or lint behind. If you have a separate keyboard, turn it over and give it a good shake.
Be careful about caked-on food or spills – you can’t just use water to dissolve the muck. A cotton swab with rubbing alcohol will remove them, and is precise enough that you don’t have to worry about getting liquids in your electronics.
Don’t forget your mobile devices might need a little clean-up too!
I work for Trend Micro and opinions expressed here are my own.
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