Technology spring cleaning checklist

Technology spring cleaning checklist

Notice layers of dust building up on your desktop? Your applications slowing to a crawl? Maybe your security measures aren’t as stringent as they once were. Whatever the case, our technology deserves the same routine, heavy-duty maintenance we offer our homes and workplaces — some much-needed spring cleaning.

While cleaning out our tech can be easy to neglect, doing so can come at the cost of quality performance and productive operations.

We’ve put together a checklist to help employers and individuals keep their digital systems healthy.

tips for keeping digital system healthy infographic

Clean out your equipment

Staring for hours at a dust-ridden screen or having food crumbs pop out of your keyboard are not hygienic ways to work, so make sure to give your devices a thorough clean.

To clean your monitors, use a soft, microfiber cloth and a computer-safe cleaning solution. Be sure your monitor is off before getting to work. This is not only a safety precaution, but it also helps you to see dust and dirt particles easier.

Keyboards are notorious for collecting dust and crumbs. To get rid of them, flip the keyboard over and shake out any loose particles, and use compressed air to remove any stubborn flecks trapped underneath. Wipe your keys with isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them — again, make sure your device is unplugged before doing this!

For more details, check out this step-by-step guide to cleaning your monitor and keyboard.

Assess your current applications and software

Software also plays a critical role in the tech spring cleaning process.

Look through your software applications, keeping note of the ones you use for your everyday tasks. Then delete or cancel any unused or barely used programs and subscriptions to free up storage space. Warning: be careful when deleting or uninstalling any software you’re unsure of. Removing the wrong thing may cause data losses or a system malfunction.

Additionally, review the programs that run upon startup. If there are any you don’t immediately need running, disable the “run upon startup” option.

Review your security measures

Cybercrime is a continuously increasing and evolving threat, so a regular check-up of your digital safeguards is vital.

Be sure to update your antivirus software to ensure you’ve got the latest defenses to combat even the most recent security threats. Run a scan after updating to make sure your systems are readily guarded against such risks.

Change your passwords regularly to foil potential hackers; keeping the same ones for too long increases your accounts’ vulnerability. Be sure to use a different passcode for each account, and keep track of all of them by using a password management app.

Test your current backup solution to ensure everything is working as required. Check if all backed-up data is available and accessible, and make improvements to the process if necessary.

Declutter your files and folders

It’s a practice most, if not all, of us are guilty of: dumping miscellaneous files onto your desktop (or random folders), giving them sloppy labels, or simply keeping those you no longer use.

As you clean through your software and security controls, take the time to look through your electronic files and folders, too. Is there anything you can permanently delete? Is there a better, more logical way to organize them?

Maintaining your digital files in a neat, orderly fashion will save you the difficulty of hunting down the ones you need, and eliminating unnecessary files will help save storage space as well as improve computer performance.

The same goes for email — clear out and organize your inbox to make prioritizing tasks and navigating a lot easier.

Upgrade technology as needed

Finally, if both your physical and software technologies are out of date, then it’s time to invest in some new systems.

Expiration dates for specific hardware vary depending on type, though experts suggest a general replacement of equipment every five years at most. No piece of tech can run forever, and sticking to old devices leaves your data vulnerable to security issues. Plus, you get subpar operational performance from your old hardware.

Like your hardware, your software should just be as updated to optimize productivity. These include your antivirus systems, cloud software, office suites, and of course, your operating system.

Keep your technology efficient, reliable, and up to date

Success in the modern business world requires having quality technological systems. To secure yourself with the latest IT solutions, Capstone IT, Inc. offers the best tools in cybersecurity, digital marketing, cloud computing, and more to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Give you and your workers the tech upgrade you need. Inquire from our experts today.

Make Sure Your Systems are Strong!

We’ve prepared these 6 eBooks to help you keep tabs on all of the different areas of your IT so that you can make the most of your technology and make sound decisions that are right for your company.

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