June 17, 2021

It’s a good time for digital cleaning

Just like offices, residence halls and houses, our digital lives can become cluttered with files piling up, becoming outdated or getting lost. Digital cleaning keeps the university, as well as your devices and information, safe and secure throughout the year. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has a list of useful tips and resources.

Update devices

University-owned computers and laptops are regularly updated by the OIT. However, phones, tablets, and other personal devices used to connect to the internet should be updated regularly, as well. Whenever possible, update the apps and operating systems on all personal devices to reduce the risk of malware and infections. Apps that are no longer in use should be uninstalled.

Remove unnecessary and unused accounts

Review your SIU Network ID, Departmental ID, and email accounts. If an account is no longer needed, request that it be deleted. If the account is to remain in use, review it for outdated information including old documents that have been stored in OneDrive and Microsoft Teams.

Delete old digital files

Clean out old emails, files, and downloads from SIU and personal accounts and unsubscribe from newsletters, email alerts, and mailing lists that are no longer necessary. When deleting items, do not forget to empty the trash or recycling bin on the device or in the email account.

Tune-up web browsers

Review browser settings and clean out unnecessary data, such as stored passwords and old autofill information. Make sure passwords are not stored in browsers or on any device and, when possible, uninstall browsers that are not being used.

Clean up duplicate and weak passwords 

Use a password, passcode, fingerprint, or facial recognition to log into all devices. When possible, use multi-factor authentication (MFA), also known as two-step verification, to login. This typically requires both a password and an additional login step such as a text, code, or other form of verification. Learn more about SIU Multi-Factor Authentication here. 

Additionally, take an inventory of passwords. Are they all long and strong? View SIU’s Password Standard to learn how to make your passwords more secure and then clean up duplicate and weak passwords. Also remember to use a unique password for each account. If there are too many passwords to remember consider using a password manager like Bitwarden or LastPass to securely store and protect passwords.

Reduce the files stored on devices

If files are stored directly on a device, they can take up space and slow down device performance. To declutter and save space, store important data in a secure cloud service. At SIU, faculty, staff, and students have up to 1TB of free data storage available on OneDrive for secure storage. Files for work, class, or RSO’s can also be stored in Microsoft Teams.

Dispose of electronic information/devices properly

Just like shredding sensitive paper information, securely dispose of electronic information that is no longer needed or wanted. Anything that can store data – a disc, flash drive, external hard drive, computer, tablet, or phone – can retain information even after that information has been deleted. Less obvious devices such as networking equipment, printers, copiers, and fax machines can also retain information. It is therefore important to wipe all electronic devices or have them shredded by a trusted vendor before disposal. For questions or assistance with this, contact your department’s LAN Administrator or SalukiTech.

SalukiTech staff can answer questions or provide assistance with any of these tips. Contact SalukiTech at 618-453-5155 or salukitech@siu.edu. Additionally, you can contact Jeff Squibb, Office of Information Technology’s security analyst, for more security tips at squibb@siu.edu.