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Records and Information Management Month

2023-04-21Highway 99 Technology Solutions Inc.

Spring cleaning should extend to your online life as well as your real life. Reviewing your data security should happen on an ongoing basis but a deep dive into old accounts yearly is always a good idea. April is Records and Information Management Month and a good time to take care of your digital files.

Even if you have strong passwords and you’ve set up two-factor authentication on all your accounts, new threats are on the rise and keeping your digital house clean will help keep it protected.

Digital junk drawers need cleaning out as well: old email accounts, unused USB keys and the catch-all downloads folder. Saving data that you may need one day is handy but holding on to data that is no longer needed exposes you to unnecessary risk. Devices can be lost, stolen or hacked. Unused, old devices should be cleared, restored to factory settings and storage devices destroyed.

Email, social media and cloud information should be deleted and destroyed as well. Many search features include an option to bulk-delete based on date, contact, and/or name. Search for the name of an individual or company that you may have sent or received sensitive data to or from such as a landlord, previous employer or family member.

Apps on your phone and devices also need to be deleted. The data on the apps can pose an unnecessary risk. On Google, tap the Menu button, then Account, then Subscriptions. On iOS, go to the App Store, tap Apple ID, then View Apple ID, then Subscriptions.

Passwords: Gone are the days that you should change your passwords on a schedule; only change your passwords if you think you’ve been compromised. For those accounts you’ve decided to keep, ensure you are following password management best practices! Make sure passwords are unique across accounts and change any that may have been compromised. Check Have I Been Pwned to see if your email has been compromised in a data breach.

Uninstall unused programs and apps, especially those for services you've canceled. Be careful though, some licensed software needs to be unregistered first.

Organize your desktop and documents folders! Desktop clutter caused by unused files and folders can impede finding necessary items. Creating folders for different types of files or projects, then assigning files to the appropriate folder or subfolder, results in an easier and more efficient search process. This also maintains desktop cleanliness and organization. Don’t forget to empty your recycle bin and downloads folder, spend time in the moment to file emails and documents properly. Consider reviewing your email inbox weekly to file, action or delete emails. However, be sure you follow any retention policies your organization may have in place.

Backups: be sure to have them! Do your organization's files exist in multiple places with no clear organization? If one of the systems these files are saved on fails, what would you do? It's important to have backups of your files in case of emergencies. We can help with reliable data storage and backup solutions.

If your computer's performance is still sluggish, one solution could be to completely reinstall your operating system. This means wiping everything off your computer and starting from scratch. This approach can help eliminate any lingering issues that may be slowing down your system, but it's important to make sure you back up any important files before proceeding.  If your main drive is still a traditional hard drive, consider upgrading to a solid state drive (SSD).

Managing your old data and backups can be daunting. Contact us to discuss how we can customize a plan for your team and company information to ensure it’s not putting you at risk.

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Located in downtown Vancouver, Highway 99 Technology Solutions Inc. delivers right-sized IT solutions and support to professionals, non-profits and small and medium-sized businesses throughout Metro Vancouver.
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