Digital hoarding is the practice of collecting and storing excessive digital files and data on your device or network. A recent report found that digital hoarding is very common in today's workplace and while individuals are aware that digital hoarding might lead to negative consequences for their organisation, they take no action. This can have several negative effects on your hardware and overall digital wellbeing.

Your team interact with an increasingly large amount of data related to intellectual property and organisational security on a day-to-day basis. Abuse or loss of such data can lead to considerable reputational damage, and significant fines for breaching data protection legislation.

To avoid these consequences, it's essential for you and your team to regularly declutter, organise, and back up your files, keeping only what is truly necessary and valuable.

Here are 7 reasons why your devices are due for a digital spring clean:

☑ Storage space

Storage space is a critical resource on our digital devices, encompassing computers, smartphones, and tablets. The accumulation of numerous digital files over time can severely impact these devices, resulting in limited capacity for new data.

As files pile up, an overloaded storage system increases the risk of potential crashes, jeopardising the integrity of important data.

Regularly organising and deleting unnecessary files, transferring data to external storage solutions, or utilising a cloud-based storage service like SharePoint for larger teams and OneDrive for personal files, can help alleviate the strain on device storage. Maintaining a healthy balance of storage space avoids unexpected crashes and provides ample space for storing new and valuable data.

Device performance

Device performance can be greatly affected by the build-up of nonessential files and data, leading to a noticeable slowdown that adversely impacts the overall experience.

When your device's storage is full, its processing speed and responsiveness can suffer, making even basic tasks feel sluggish and frustrating.

To restore your device's speed and agility, it is essential to regularly manage your storage space by decluttering. At the risk of sounding repetitive, for data that you need to access in the future, the solution is always a cloud-based storage system. Egnyte is another alternative to Microsoft's offering.

Organisational challenges

As the volume of digital files, documents, and data grows, the task of organising them in a coherent manner becomes more arduous. A chaotic approach can hinder productivity, as crucial information may get buried in the jumble of files, causing downtime on a day-to-day basis.

A quarterly clear out and archiving of files that are no longer needed can help achieve and maintain a streamlined digital environment.

Data loss risk

The risk of accidental loss significantly rises when dealing with a substantial amount of data. Without adequate backup systems in place, important files are vulnerable to permanent deletion or corruption in the face of hardware failures or cyber incidents.

Alarmingly, individuals with data protection responsibilities often accumulate and retain more digital files than those without such responsibilities.

Security vulnerabilities

The hoarding of digital files potentially exposes individuals and organisations to heightened risks. Old or neglected files often contain sensitive information, such as personal data, passwords, or financial records.

If these files are not properly secured or disposed of, hackers may exploit them to gain unauthorised access to private information, leading to identity theft, financial fraud, or other malicious activities.

To bolster digital security, regularly review digital files, ensuring that sensitive information is appropriately encrypted or deleted when no longer needed.

Update and maintenance hassles

Dealing with a large volume of data requires frequent updates and maintenance. As the data collection grows, the complexity of managing it effectively increases, necessitating careful attention to ensure data integrity and optimal system performance.

To address these challenges, efficient data management strategies such as automation tools, scheduled maintenance routines, scalable storage solutions and of course, cloud-based services can streamline the process.

Proactive data management practices allow organisations to minimise hassles, leading to smoother workflows.

Reduced battery life (for mobile devices)

As mobile devices accumulate more files and data, they require additional resources to manage and process this information. Each file takes up storage space and accessing and organising them demand excessive memory usage. Larger data sets may result in more frequent background processes and syncing activities, further contributing to reduced battery life.

Accumulating too many files not only takes up valuable storage space but also depletes our device performance and leads to frustratingly slower response times and potential crashes.

Taking steps to combat these 7 issues is essential. Regularly decluttering and implementing efficient backup solutions, are fundamental practices that can alleviate these burdens. Embracing smart data management strategies and being mindful of security measures will enable you to navigate the digital landscape with greater ease and efficiency, ensuring that our devices perform optimally, and our data remains secure.

By staying proactive in your approach, you can fully harness the potential of technology while minimising its drawbacks. Discuss with us today how we can assist you and your team in simplifying their digital life.

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