BBB Column: It’s time for a digital spring makeover | Business

The weather is warming up in parts of the country, prompting people to clean up or dispose of the clutter. The one place that many people overlook isn’t the corner of a room or a forgotten closet; this is the digital device you are reading this article on. We use our phones to shop, browse social media, bank, and work. The National Cyber ​​Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​remind consumers that in addition to purging the physical clutter, don’t forget to also clean up the digital data clutter that lives on your electronic devices.

As many companies and their employees are still working from home, it is essential to focus on cybersecurity and the protection of sensitive information. NCSA has tips on how to protect your private information.

Taking a few simple, proactive steps will go a long way to protecting you against a number of potentially disruptive issues that can wreak havoc by compromising your data. Take the time to practice a few precautionary measures and you’ll have peace of mind…not just this spring, but all year round.

The NCSA and the BBB encourage people to check their smartphones, laptops and tablets and take a few minutes to review these tips. (in Spanish).

Lock your connection: Security is essential to protect accounts used for work and home. Make sure the passphrases for each account are long, unique, and stored securely. Enable 2-factor authentication on all accounts that offer it.

Update your system and software: Avoid procrastination! Having the latest software, web browsers and operating systems is one of the easiest and fastest ways to protect your most sensitive assets.

Save it: Protect your personal and business data by making electronic copies – or backups – of your most important files. Use the 3-2-1 rule to guide you: 3 backup copies, 2 different media types and 1 offline in a separate location.

Clean up your online presence: When was the last time you used all the apps on your phone or tablet? Do you know what are the settings of all the social media accounts that connect with your friends and family? Check all your accounts. Next, control your role by making sure you know who has administrative access to your accounts. Keep all your passwords private.

Be careful what you share: Social media quizzes are fun and staying in touch is a necessity these days. However, social media questions can give too much information about you, your location, or your family.

In addition to following the advice above, small business owners should take the time to establish, update, and communicate policies and procedures on topics such as record retention. It is also imperative that a cybersecurity strategy is in place and used by all employees. BBB has advice at on how to avoid online scams when working from home.

Secure Your BBB ID Day

Protecting your identity is largely in your hands. BBB provides the following guidelines to assist in the safe disposal of electronically stored data. Be sure to prepare your data before attending BBB’s Secure Your ID Day, held in Tyler on Saturday, April 23 at the BBB offices.

Know which devices to “shred” digitally: Computers and cell phones aren’t the only devices that capture and store sensitive personal data. External hard drives and USB drives, tape drives, built-in flash memory, portable devices, network equipment, and office tools such as copiers, printers, and fax machines all contain valuable personal information and images. stored.

Clear inventory: If you have a stash of old hard drives or other devices — even if they’re in a locked storage area — information still exists and could be stolen. Don’t wait: Wipe and/or destroy unnecessary hard drives as soon as possible.

Empty your Trash or Recycle Bin on all devices, and be sure to erase and overwrite: Simply deleting and emptying the Trash does not completely get rid of a file. You should permanently delete the old files. Use a program that deletes the data, “erases” it from your device, then overwrites it with random data in place of your information which then cannot be recovered.

Decide what to do with the device: Once the device is clean, you can sell it, exchange it, give it away, recycle it or have it destroyed. Keep in mind that even failed disks contain data, so they must be destroyed. Device shredding can often be the quickest and cheapest option for getting rid of a large number of disks.

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BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.

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