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Asian American Medical Society

It’s almost the new year, and with the new year, comes only one thing— resolutions! This is a chance for everyone to get a fresh start and start off the year strong, and what is a better way to start off strong in this work-at-home environment than practicing digital hygiene! In this article, I have complied a series of ways that you could clean up your digital world for a more productive 2022!

1. Organize your inbox by unsubscribing to junk emails

Whether you receive no emails or your inbox is TMTC(too many to count), the best way to get rid of distractions is by tidying up your inbox.

First, unsubscribe from any newsletters that you don’t care about anymore. That email that you’ve been hitting “mark read” on for the past year? Just get rid of it.

As you purge your inbox, you’ll come across accounts that you didn’t even know you had!

The next step you could take is to categorize your emails. Some clients have that feature embedded within themselves already, to be sure to lean on those features if they exist. This way, you could respond quicker to important emails and protect yourself from clicking fake phishing emails because they won’t be going into your organized folders!

2. Update your devices, delete old accounts, and get rid of apps you don’t need

This step is pretty easy. Most devices have automatic updates so you shouldn’t need to worry about the keeping them up-to-date. However, getting rid of old accounts and finding retired apps may take a little bit more effort. To make this easier, I have come up with a couple of “rules” to follow to make it easier!

  • Get rid of apps you haven’t touched in more than a month. You can always download them again when you need them!
  • There are accounts that you probably forgot about, but they could be used to trace back to your email and be potentially dangerous! After organizing your inbox, keep a list of the accounts and get rid of all their data is possible!
  • Factory reset devices that you know you won’t use anymore just in case they fall into strangers’ hands!

3. Use a password manager

After deleting all your old apps and accounts, you’re only left with the accounts you actively use! Now is the best time to put them into a password manager. The combination of strong passwords and password managers is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself online. There are tons of great—and free—password managers out there, such as 1Password and LastPass. Your browser also has a password manager that you could use, and while it’s better than nothing, I recommend using an independent password manager.

4. Turn on multi-factor authentication

Does your account or service allow for multi or two-factor authentication? If it does, turn it on!

Multi-factor authentication means requiring more than just your password to login to something. This is often a text message to your cell phone, but can come in other forms, like an email verification, facial recognition, or fingerprints!

This is important because a password could be used anywhere, but your fingerprint would be really hard to reproduce, making it more difficult for your accounts to be accessed by hackers!

Digital hygiene may sound time consuming and daunting, but I promise you— it’s well worth it! Like any resolution, you should look to turn this into a habit, whether its by adding it to your calendar or to your fancy productivity app! By doing this, you’ll be more productive in your daily life, and save yourself from potential cyber attacks!

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