Top Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Machines

The first day of spring is an exciting time and despite everything going on with the world currently, there’s still a huge sense of change coming when it comes to the working world returning to ‘normal’. As many organisations move to permanent remote working or a flexible, hybrid working approach, a significant amount of responsibility will fall to employees to ensure their machines are up to scratch.

Whether you’ve been working from home for a short while or longer, it’s always important to ensure you keep your machines updated and your applications secure. Much like a spring clean of your home, your machines can become just as cluttered after a long period of use. A clean machine does more than just mentally refresh you, it can also give you peace of mind with improved security and can support GDPR compliance.

Below are some of our tips to use the new season to start fresh with your machines.

Update and uninstall applications

This should be part of your regular maintenance cycle and even more so now that remote working is becoming part of the ‘new normal’ for many organisations. As such, there may be more applications needed for many to be able to work from home, so you need to be on the ball with keeping these applications up to date. Updating your applications also strengthens your security position, as well uninstalling those applications that no longer serve you. Turning on automatic updates or having an update schedule that’s managed by your IT team can help for those who may not have the time or forget to do this.

Backup all important data

This is a critical task that should be done once a week, especially if you’re working on major projects. Ensuring you do this means that in the event of a system crash or other hardware failure, you still have access to important files. Using the cloud for backing up data can also alleviate the headache of a system failure on your machine as well as free up storage space. Taking it a step further, having a business continuity strategy and utilising a backup tool such as Datto will support you in the event of a worst-case scenario.

Reset all passwords

Although you should be resetting your passwords every 1 -3 months, it’s easy for this to fall under the radar. However, by simply changing your passwords frequently on all applications, you’ll strengthen your cyber defence. Remember, special characters and numbers will make it more difficult for passwords to be cracked by cyber criminals who use ‘dictionary attacks’.

Clean temporary files and cache folders

If you feel like your system is slowing down, it could be time to take out the trash. Clearing your Windows cache can help resolve system issues, improve performance and free up disk space. You can do this by searching for ‘Disk Cleanup’ and following the instructions. You can also clear the DNS cache, Windows store cache and location cache to help improve your machine’s performance.

You can also remove temporary internet files and cleaning the cache. Depending on which browser you have, there will be different ways of doing this – you can find your browser and device here.

Run a security scan and enable new security features

Many threat actors like HAFNIUM are always looking for ways to compromise machines, so it’s crucial to make sure you regularly scan for any weaknesses in your system. Having an antivirus program that performs regular scans can help to ensure any potential threats are picked up without you having to perform the checks manually.

How TSG can help to keep your machines clean

Our experts can help to keep your machines healthy by advising on regular updates, security health checks and more. Simply get in touch today to find out more about our managed and co-managed services.