Spring clean your data

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Seasonal cues are a great way to promote good behaviour. When spring comes, for example, we clean our homes and put our material world to rights ready for a fresh start. But what about non-material things? Shouldn’t we spring clean those too? As times change, and the importance of materialistic items is overtaken by the valuable insights data gives us, it is vital we protect, clean and maintain it all year round.

Data is continuously collected through emails, pictures, videos, fitness trackers, TVs… the list is endless. By 2020, it is predicted that there will be over 50 billion connected devices and the world will be creating 44 trillion gigabytes of data every year.

As data becomes more readily available, assisting us in making important decisions, we need to keep our behaviour in check to prevent over cluttering and out-dated systems as they lead to several issues, including security breaches, poor formats, and slow machines.

Spring clean your machine

Align spring cleaning your home with cleaning your devices by running updates. This will keep all IoT devices working smoothly and glitch free. Your devices should already have anti-virus software, but you should make an asserted effort to manually scan every few weeks. Not only will these two actions improve the quality of how the devices run and connect; they will reduce chance of infections or unwanted malware.

De-clutter your database

Much like your annual household spring clean, it is important to manually de-clutter your database as this will protect digital files. Identifying what data exists, where it sits, whether it should be there at all and what needs removing is the first and biggest hurdle. Delete or archive emails to keep your inbox tidier, empty your trash folders and remove duplicate files to keep your mind clearer.

However, simply deleting data isn’t always enough to prevent hackers accessing your private information – you need to wipe data from your hard drive to prevent this, particularly if you throw out your PC.

Unused or ‘dark data’, can become expensive if you need to buy more storage. Also, it can waste a lot of time, sieving through data to find a file. It costs the average business billions of dollars each year. So, keep your personal data clean and tidy to prevent this each spring.

Time for a rethink

Our lives are so heavily integrated with connected devices and the internet that there should be a greater focus on prioritising security. Whilst we continue to be lax, hackers become smarter. As more devices continue to be connected through IoT, heightened security breaches are inevitable. However, this can be prevented – through updating your password regularly and to a high specification. Apps can formulate unique passwords and will help you keep track, or using pen and paper works just as well. The data you produce is unique and important, so keep it safe.

Although it can feel like a big chore, just remember how good you feel after your house is de-cluttered. Spend a few hours spring cleaning your data to keep it safe and working properly. Give data the attention it deserves, and keep up those good behavioral practices all year round.

For more on how IBM can help your business can keep its data safe, visit our website.

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