KAKE NEWS INVESTIGATES: Cyber Security Spring Cleaning

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

When we think spring cleaning, we think about baseboards, fans and floors. But your digital footprint also needs some sprucing up.

Yet, in this complicated world of connectivity, where cell phones, computers and speakers make life easier, how do you declutter your devices?

Wichita State University cyber expert, Lincoln Schroeder, explains why this is so important.

“Consider what you're using your phone for. Is it just to stay connected with friends or are you using it for a lot of personal financial business? The more you start mixing personal financial business with other critical operations, the more likely you are to get exploited if someone hacks your phone." Schroeder said.

So how can you combat the con men? For your cell phone and tablets, delete apps you don't use. Many run in the background collecting you data to sell or use to market products to you.

"There's a lot of free apps with malicious code in them that's trying to market to you more. And better yet, what kind of permission are they asking?" Schroeder said.

When an app wants to have access to your address book. That's a big red flag.

For your computer, update that operating system to keep security features in tip top shape.

And those smart speakers? Block incoming calls. Someone can easily dial-in unannounced and listen to conversations happening in the room,

And finally, toss those unused files.

"Obviously a machine performs better if you don't have it cluttered up with a bunch of stuff...it's like keeping a clean house." Schroeder said.

ANOTHER HELPFUL HINT:

-Change your password on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is a sentence of phrase that has 21 characters more more. That means letters, numbers and symbols. 

For more resources on how to secure your identity visit Stop.Think.Connect.org.

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