4 ways to declutter your digital life

By Nicole Chiu, Communications Officer, CEIT

We all know what it’s like to clean a messy room or organize clutter around the home. But have you ever thought of decluttering your digital life? Organizing your life online keeps your digital mess at bay and can even protect you from cyber-crime.

So, what can you do to declutter?

1. Leave it in the Cloud

Upload your computer and mobile files onto the Cloud and use folders to organize your documents, images, videos, and more. As a Douglas College student you have access to 1 terabyte of Cloud space on OneDrive, an internet-based file storage provided by Microsoft Office 365. That’s enough space for:

  • A Word document with 85 million pages
  • Over 300,000 pictures
  • 41 days of video footage

Additionally, you have access to a collection of services from Office 365. This service allows you online access to applications like Word and PowerPoint. Best of all, your files save automatically to your OneDrive storage while you’re working, freeing you from worrying about losing your work because you forgot to hit ‘save,’ or your computer crashed. Files uploaded onto your OneDrive will be private, secure, and accessible from any device from any place with an internet connection*.

For more information on how to use Office 365, visit the Office 365 page on the Douglas College website.
*When you leave Douglas College as a graduate or otherwise, you will lose your access to OneDrive and your files will be deleted. If you know you will soon be leaving Douglas, move your files onto your computer or upload them onto another Cloud storage service, like a personal version of Microsoft OneDrive. 

2. Keep your inbox clean

Check and clean your inbox often. Also, remember to empty out the junk mail. Move unwanted emails to your junk folder and create folders for important emails. Want to access all your email in one place? Simply forward your College email to your personal email account.

To learn how to forward emails sent to your College email address, visit the College email in Office 365 page.

3. Manage your passwords

If you have a number of different passwords to remember, try using a free password manager like LastPass. It helps you create strong passwords and remembers them for you. It’s especially important to make strong passwords for all your accounts. It will ensure that your information is safe from online attackers.

For your Douglas College accounts, use a minimum of 15 characters and a combination of at least three of the following:

  • Lower case letters
  • Upper case (capitol) letters
  • Numbers
  • Special characters, i.e. !@#$%^&*()_+=~`.

Take the password test to validate the strength of your password. Aim for a password that will take over three million years to crack.

For more information on accounts and passwords, visit the Logins & Passwords page.

4. Clean your computer once a year

The second Monday in February is National Clean Out Your Computer Day. Sure, you can give your PC or Mac a good dusting and wipe-down, but the real magic happens when you update and get rid of old files. You’ll be amazed at how much faster your computer works by following these tips:

  • Update all your software and ensure you have the latest operating system
  • Uninstall old applications and delete old files you no longer use
  • Back up important files onto your OneDrive storage

Challenge yourself and tackle all four ways to declutter your digital life. Or, ease yourself into it one-by-one. Whatever you decide, you’ll feel digitally refreshed and organized.

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