Spring cleaning is not just for your home. Deep clean your phone and give it the tidying up it deserves.
If you are guilty of having apps cluttered all over your screen then you are not alone. Smartphones loaded with too many apps can slow down your phone, allow third-party apps to access your data, shorten battery life or worse, crash your phone.
Every once in a while every phone needs a cleanup. Spring is a great time to take out the old and bring in the new. Here are a few tips to help you spring clean your phone.
1. Don’t want it? Delete it.
Apps are notorious for taking up space on your phone. Arrange apps in the order of usage. If you think you haven’t used an app in over a month then you probably don’t need it.
2. The backup plan.
As a general rule, regularly backup your data. This not only frees up space in your phone, it also speeds it up. If your phone is taken over by ransomware, you will still have your data.
3. How many people are in your phone?
You build contacts as you learn and grow in this world. You add them to your address book. As you move from one phone to another, you are carrying these numbers and details to the next device, and the one after that. Finally you end up with more contacts than the number of people you actually know. Go through your contacts and delete the ones you know you wont need.
4. Music, messages and maps
There was a time when music was downloaded and saved in phones. Now with Wi-Fi being available almost everywhere and apps that stream music, the need to save music has declined. Text messages take up a lot of space too. Memes, videos, gifs, etc, live in your feed and take up precious real estate. Delete them once you’ve read them. Apps like maps, ride sharing services, and other services that use geo location that run in the background and slow down your phone — turn them off when not in use.
5. Time to change your password
Changing passwords regularly keeps your device safe from cyber attacks. Use unique passwords that use a combination of at least 12 upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. The key is to make it difficult for attackers to access your information by changing your passwords every three months and not reusing passwords for multiple accounts.
6. Check for software updates and patches
Software patches and update notifications show up at the oddest moments. While it is highly recommended that you update your phone immediately upon receiving them, sometimes people can miss the notification. Check your phone’s settings, and make sure that you are running the latest version of the software. Ignoring security updates exposes your phone to vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
7. Clean on the inside and clean on the outside
Do not forget to remove your phone cover and wipe down your phone with a clean cloth. Read the cleaning instructions that came with your phone. Using wet wipes and alcohol solutions may damage the phone.
8. Safety first
Use a reliable security suite to help keep not only your phone safe from cyber attacks, but also your other devices like laptops and tablets.
Make sure you maintain the health of your phone with good cyber habits.
Cyber threats have evolved, and so have we.
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Clare Stouffer, a Gen employee, is a writer and editor for the company’s blogs. She covers various topics in cybersecurity.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc.