When we’re talking about digital hygiene, we’re not referring to the need to regularly give your phone or computer a wipe down with a cleaning cloth (though you should be doing that, too). We’re talking about your digital footprint, and the need to practice good online hygiene in order to protect yourself from cyber threats.
Good digital hygiene, or online or cyber hygiene, involves keeping your devices (such as your phone, computer and tablet) well-organised and up to date with the latest updates and security patches. This can help to keep your device running smoother for longer, and can also help to protect your device against cyber threats.
Online hygiene is all about the ways you use your device and the precautions you take in order to keep your data and personal information organised and secure. Digital hygiene can be best managed with a combination of good organisation and diligent security. When you’re able to successfully manage your online presence and ensure that your internet security is strong, you’ve effectively given your device a clean bill of health.
The purpose of cyber hygiene is to keep your personal information and data secure in order to protect it from cyberattacks.
If you think about this the same way you’d keep your house clean, you can see how practicing good digital hygiene is important. At home, you take time to regularly vacuum the floor, wipe down surfaces and take out the garbage. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself having to laboriously navigate a messy house that is filled with creepy crawlies that are attracted by all the trash.
If you don’t regularly scan for cyber security threats, remove old, unused apps and accounts, and install the latest updates, then you’ll find your devices are not only running slowly, but are more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Practicing good digital hygiene means that it becomes second nature – just like washing your hands and brushing your teeth. Online hygiene isn’t the kind of thing you need to do only once every so often, but rather something you need to think of regularly. By making these tips a part of your digital hygiene routine, you’re taking steps towards better managing your digital footprint – which can make it more difficult for cyber criminals to target you.