As spring silently glides into summer it’s not too late to spring clean the digital clutter from your computer and online life. Just like homes, computers can get clogged up with rubbish and junk. It’s only when you take a good look can you see what you do need, what you might need, and what you certainly don't need. 

Organizing your desktop - To start the process you can sort through all your files and documents, delete any copies of files, old apps, outdated documents, or things you no longer use. Once done, it's a good idea to organize your files into a system that's easy to understand. You can create new folders with titles that reflect the content such as 'photos', 'letters,' or ‘official documents.' An organized system will help you not only manage your current data but also help prevent accumulating clutter in the future.

Clearing out emails – How many of us have lots of emails in our inbox or archived that we never look at. We think they might be useful at some point, or hold information that we need, but this is rarely the case. We hold onto them just because we can. But a bulging inbox can eat up storage space and also complicate searches for emails that we do need. It’s also a bit messy. However, you can bulk delete emails, so you don’t need to laboriously plough through your inbox. The method for doing this depends on the email service you are using. If you do an internet search for bulk email clearance for your provider you’ll find out how to do. It’s typically quick and easy.

Cleaning your smartphone – Have you ever seen one of those videos that show just how fast and widespread viruses can proliferate? It's sobering and educational. Someone carrying a virus helps themselves to a food buffet and within 15 minutes the virus has spread throughout the restaurant. Covid-19 is still out there and while lockdowns in many countries are easing, the risk of infection remains. So if you return from a trip to the shops as well as washing your hands it's also important to clean your smartphone with a disinfectant wipe because what has been on your hands will be on your phone too.

Back it up – This is a critical step and one you should complete before you do anything else. It can be frustratingly easy to lose files and frustratingly difficult to recover them, if at all. With BullGuard security solutions, you can back up your files to Dropbox, GoogleDrive, One Drive, or an external drive. You can either set up a schedule for regular backups or backup files when you want to and importantly you can also encrypt your backups. 

Perform a malware scan - The best way to avoid future problems with your computer is to be proactive and carrying out the occasional manual malware scan ensures you haven’t picked up a virus. BullGuard protection provides the option of doing a quick scan, which takes only a few minutes, an in-depth full scan, or customized scan. There is also a 'quarantine' feature so if anything is detected it can be locked away keeping your computer protected against infection.

Clean your browser - Check your internet browser for extensions and remove any you no longer use. Deleting old or unused browser extensions can significantly improve speed and load-time, helping to keep your computer in the best condition. It also pays to be wary of browser extensions; while most are bona fide some can hide malicious code.  Alongside eliminating extensions you don’t use if you clear your browser data to remove cookies and browsing history your browser will operate even faster.

Stride into summer with a VPN - Finally, if you’re able to get out and experience the wonderful outdoors again, whether a park, market, café, or shopping center now is the ideal time to load a VPN (virtual private network) onto your devices. In a sense, it's an ultimate spring cleaning act because you're getting ahead of the detritus before it hits by protecting your communications, especially on public Wi-Fi, from snoopers, hackers, and other miscreants.

BullGuard VPN creates a private tunnel between your device and the websites you are visiting, protects your data with military-grade encryption, and hides your IP address providing much needed online privacy, security, and anonymity. It is incredibly simple to use, just click connect, it runs on Windows, Android, and iOS and with one subscription you can use it on six devices, at the cost of a few pennies per month.