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Protect Your Privacy Spring Cleaning

I’ll be honest, my blog idea was generated from an article about spring cleaning.  Let’s face it, lots of things could benefit from spring cleaning:  homes, cars, desk drawers… How about your inbox?  Maybe the ever-growing number of presentation drafts in your documents folder?  How about the flash drive in your desk drawer?  Anything in the cloud that’s been hanging out for years?  Maybe there’s a number of bookmarks or favorites on your list that hasn’t been used or accessed in a while.

While nothing really goes away once it hits the internet, you can minimize your exposure by tending to your digital clutter.  You can also save some time by eliminating marketing emails clogging up your inbox that you no longer need or want.  Maybe you subscribed to something that initially looked good, but it’s got so many pop-ups that you’re swiping it away as soon as it arrives.

I’ll admit that I bounce on and off marketing lists based on something I covet, or a home improvement project that I’m contemplating, but once it’s done, I unsubscribe.  If I have to unsubscribe more than once, then I’ll email the privacy office or customer service to let the company know something is broken.  They should be complying with CAN-SPAM, and if not, you’re doing them a favor by bringing it to the attention of someone in charge.

Do you have old email accounts you no longer use?  Do yourself a favor and hit that “forgot password?” link; reset it; and delete the account.  This goes for Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of social media that you’ve outgrown.  I know it’s a pain — you’d rather be sweeping out cobwebs in the garage, or waxing floors — but do some digital house cleaning and you’ll feel better about it. 

We humans are a nosey lot, and you don’t need that kind of complication in your life if your data gets misappropriated.  One more thing, change your passwords if it’s been a while.  Keeping your digital footprint tidy is smart.