It doesn't take long for apps to collect on a tablet, emails to pile up in an inbox, and data to be a drain on a smartphone. Virtual clutter isn't just annoying. In some cases, it leaves personal data exposed for no real reason.
A good starting point for a digital spring cleaning is passwords. Many of us use the same one for multiple sites, or short and simple combinations that aren't the best options for online security.
"You have to have a strong password, and that means eight characters that include things like punctuation, and capitalization, and numbers," said Suzanne Kantra, Editor-in-Chief at Techlicious. "And of course nobody can remember all of those passwords, so you can use a password vault to be able to keep them safely and securely, whether that's on your computer, or your smartphone, or your tablet."
Two big culprits of digital clutter: email and apps. Unsubscribe to newsletters, daily deals, and other emails you don't read, or send them away from the inbox and into folders. And apps that haven't been used in a while may be siphoning more than just space.
"It's not just them running in the background locally. They're also requesting information; they may be looking for your location so that they can provide nearby information contextually," said Kantra. "So yes, they definitely can have a significant drain on your battery, and if you're not using them, why have them on your system at all?"
And electronics retailers are among those with receptacles to recycle old devices, cutting some real clutter to complement a virtual spring cleanup.