Trend Micro
Putting an End to Digital Clutter
A Fresh Start

A clean and healthy digital life shouldn't stop at installing and using a security application. Just like in real life, staying healthy involves making lasting changes to your lifestyle. It also means making it a habit to adapt certain practices. While this requires some effort, the benefits are well worth it.

To help you get started on your digital decluttering, we've put together a guide for the most important aspects of your digital life.

Your Computer

Digital clutter in laptops and desktops accumulate through daily use. Whether at work or at home, things can get messy if you're not careful.

A little disorganization shouldn't be that alarming though. Being sloppy with bloated applications and critical files, on the other hand, is.

What to Do

  • Clear your browser's cache.
  • Uninstall programs you don't even use.
  • Regularly empty the Recycle Bin and Temporary Internet Files folder.
  • Avoid hoarding programs.

Why Declutter

The best way to get rid of clutter is to throw it out. Clearing your browser's cache and uninstalling unnecessary programs free up space on your system and remove potential security risks.

Unused programs are often left unpatched, retaining vulnerabilities that bad guys can exploit. It's important to always patch and update programs that you decide to keep. The same applies to your OS.

System Fast Facts

  • Malware often rely on old software vulnerabilities to penetrate systems. Software usually remain unpatched due to negligence.
  • Bad guys often target popular add-ons and programs like Java Runtime Environment (JRE) as well as Adobe Flash Player and Reader.
  • A CSIS study revealed that 99.8% of all virus infections result from lack of updating five specific software packages. [1]
Your Mobile Device

Like desktops or laptops, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are also prone to digital clutter. In fact, the clutter that accumulates in mobile devices can have more repercussions than that in your desktop or laptop. Why? Because mobile devices have less computing power to work with.

Mobile devices also retain loads of personal information that may end up in the wrong hands due to mismanagement.

What to Do

  • Delete unwanted or unused apps.
  • Maximize your mobile device's security settings.

Why Declutter

The more apps you have installed, the less space you have to play around with. Hoarding apps affects your device's processing speed and battery life. Some features and permissions also add to the strain.

Maximizing your device's security settings is a good idea especially since it sends your personal data to third parties when connected to the web.

Mobile Device Fast Facts

  • 27% of all apps downloaded in 2011 were games, 12.2% were entertainment apps, and 11.17% were productivity tools. [2]
  • Apps can eat as much as 75% of your smartphone's battery life.
  • Trend Micro believes that by the end of 2012, we will see as many as 120,000 malicious Android apps. [3]
Your Digital Reputation

Social networking plays a huge role in your digital life. It's no longer just a convenient way to connect with friends and family.

Your public profile tells the whole world who you are in a nutshell. Your privacy though definitely worth protecting is, therefore, at stake.

What to Do

  • Streamline your contact list.
  • Check your privacy settings.
  • Remove rogue apps from your account.
  • Clean up your posts and photo albums.

Why Declutter

Just like choosing friends, consider trimming down your contact list. This minimizes risks of falling for scams that make use of malicious links. It also helps ensure your online privacy. [4]

Removing rogue apps also helps secure your accounts. These are, after all, often responsible for personal data theft. Cleaning up your posts and photo albums improves your online image, too. Consider deleting pictures you don't want anyone to see or share with others.

Before posting anything, ask yourself: "Am I comfortable with anyone seeing this?" If your answer is "No," don't do it. Save yourself the hassle of cleaning up afterward.

Social Networking Fast Facts

  • As of December 2011, Facebook had more than 845M active users per month and 483M visitors per day. [5]
  • The average Facebook user has never met 7% of the people in his or her contact list.
  • Top 3 social networking threats:
    • Malware infection
    • Personal data theft
    • Account hijacking [6]

Download Putting an End to Digital Clutter


1 http://www.csis.dk/en/csis/news/3321
2 http://about-threats.trendmicro.com/RelatedThreats.aspx?language=us&name=Mobile+Apps%3a+New+Frontier+for+Cybercrime
3 http://blog.trendmicro.com/how-big-will-the-android-malware-threat-be-in-2012/
4 http://blog.trendmicro.com/how-private-is-my-online-information/
5 http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22
6 http://blog.trendmicro.com/the-geography-of-social-media-threats-infographic/

A clean digital life is something to be proud of.

Rid your life of digital clutter by following these tips:

  • Back up your content. There's no telling when software or hardware failure can lead to critical data loss. It's always a good idea to periodically back up your data. Use an alternative online storage besides the one you regularly update. An online backup service like Trend Micro™ SafeSync™ also helps.
  • Manage your passwords. Your passwords are the keys to your digital life. Anyone who has access to them can easily jeopardize your digital. Use different passwords for different sites. A longer password is just as effective as a random string of letters, numbers, and special characters. A password manager like Trend Micro™ DirectPass™ can also automate and ease the otherwise complicated process of managing several passwords.