Time to spring clean your device

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Retro Robot with laptop and vacuum cleaner. Isolated. Clipping path

The annual tradition of spring cleaning one's house has fallen away in recent decades. Few of us now have coal fires keeping us warm throughout the winter, covering all surfaces with soot which prompts the springtime freshen up. But that's not to say it shouldn't face a revival – this time with a digital twist.

Last year, we used our mobile devices 58 per cent more than the year before. We use these devices throughout the day to serve our purposes, but many of us forget to give a little back. In order for that device to keep working quickly and efficiently, it's a good idea to give it a spruce up every now and then.

Over time, our devices accumulate a number of files that are not needed or used. This build-up of junk degrades the software performance which can cause devices to breakdown or result in security issues.

Often people think they need to buy a new device when their old one stops functioning when, in reality, they just need a good tune-up. Think of it as your devices needing a regular MOT.
Spring cleaning your device doesn't have to take a lot of time or cost you a lot. You can do it for free and you can probably get through it in less than 10 minutes.

Here are some simple tips on how you could get rid of the clutter and improve battery performance that will not only keep your device running, but also protect your personal information against security breaches.

1.Get rid of waste

Are you running low on space on your device? No matter how much disk space a device has when it's new, over time it starts to run out. Apps, app data, large media files, downloads and other unused user data (such as videos, photos, documents and credentials) can start to litter your device. Go through your apps and delete everything you haven't used in the last 6-12 months. If you are not sure if you use an app, you can always reinstall it later.

Cleaning up this excess junk will free up space for the content that you really want.

Photos and videos are some of the biggest space takers. You can free a lot of space just by going through and individually deleting out the photos you don't want or need anymore from your gallery. Or you can back all of them up to a cloud-based storage solution and then remove them from your device altogether.

Being cloud-based means documents, photos, videos, among others will be stored on the servers of the solution provider, rather than on your device. However, do some research to make sure you trust the supplier and note that you won't be able to access your content when offline.

Now, while you're on this page, you should open your download folder and check what's there – chances are there's a lot of stuff you don't need anymore that you can delete. In addition, clear your cached data from apps and browsers. This data is saved to enable quicker processing, but over time it all adds up and slows down your system.

2.Faster performance

Is it taking too long for your device to boot up? Too many processes running in the background that are dragging you down when you are trying to watch a video on your tablet or mobile device? Does it continually stop to buffer? Well if your device is running slow or if apps are taking too long to start up, you can use an optimisation tool or app for a faster start-up times, browsing, file operations and making apps run smoother.

A free optimisation product, such as F-Secure Booster enables you to "tune-up" old and new devices to perform faster and run longer while at the same time avoiding costly upgrades that are not required. It works by taking care of difficult and time-consuming maintenance, such as cleaning unused files that programs create for temporary use, updating software and drivers, and tuning processes that drain the battery life from phones and laptops.

The software also manages the potentially unwanted programs that come preinstalled on many newer mobile phones and other devices. These small inefficiencies waste things like memory and disk space, so getting rid of them gives you more storage space, longer lasting batteries and an overall better performing device or computer.

F-Secure offers both free and premium version of Booster, with the premium version offering the more advanced features, such as automatic software updating and other capabilities that keep devices running quickly and efficiently. Your ideal tool for a full spring cleaning!

3. Secure your apps

According to F-Secure Labs, Android is a favourite target for mobile malware writers. That means people using Google's platform need to be extra cautious about the apps they use or install onto their devices. The best form of protection is to install security software on your phone, such as SuperSafe Boost. This will scan every app you download, flag potentially harmful websites that you are trying to access and block malicious content from your browser. It's a great way to make sure you stay protected after your spring clean!

4. Longer battery life

Your device's battery gets consumed by unnecessary apps and processes that run in the background. By closing those down, you can extend your battery life so you don't need to recharge your device as often.

Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi when you're not using it. The signal your device emits searching for another Bluetooth signal or a WiFi network will drain the battery. From a security perspective, it's also wise to turn these off when not using them.

*Source:Flurry Insight, Media, productivity & Emojis give mobile another stunning growth year.

Pricing and availability:
F-Secure Booster is currently available for Android devices and Windows PCs. The Windows PC version is available from F-Secure's website and the Android offering is available through Google Play. Premium prices start at £23.90 per year for 1 device, or £38.90 for 1 year, 3 devices.