Many of us include the ritual of spring cleaning around this time of year. Spring cleaning is all about tackling the areas you may have neglected during the rest of the year. And nothing is more satisfying than a sparkling clean home, right? But don’t forget about your computer and devices. Backing up data, cleaning up storage, maintenance and changing passwords are things that most of us miss throughout the year. Therefore, you might want to consider adding the following tasks to your official spring cleaning checklist:

 Back Up Your Data: Back up all your important data, such as photos, records, documents and your calendar, contact list and emails, etc. Back up anything you feel is important and irreplaceable. My advice is to back up your data to an external hard drive that has its own power source (AC adapter) or burn your data to CDs/DVDs. USB flash drives are not meant for long-term storage. The other option is storing your data remotely, such as to iCloud or Google Drive.

 Clean Up Your Storage: After backing up your data, start deleting apps, programs and files that you rarely use or are outdated. This alone can speed up your computer. Again, do this after backing up you computer.

 Maintenance: If you are tech savvy, you can purchase utility programs that perform low-level diagnostics on your computer that will check your computer’s hardware and the operating system, and will make recommendations on how to remedy any problems. Depending on the program, it may even resolve those issues for you. My advice is to see a professional service to do the examination and any subsequent fixes if any problems are found. Usually, this can be done by the service department where you purchased your computer. There are also local service providers that can do similar work, but choose reputable vendors.

 Change Passwords: Lastly, change your passwords, not only for logging into your computer and other devices, but also internet services that require a password. You don’t have to change them all at one time, but start with your computer and cellphone passwords. Write them down in a notebook along with the date you  made the changes. Secure the notebook in a safe place.

Warning: Keeping passwords on your computer, cellphone or other devices is not recommended. Neither is keeping them in your wallet or purse.

Contact me with questions about online security. Christopher Duque |