6 on Your Side, Consumer Confidence: Clearing Digital Clutter

(ABC 6 NEWS) – We all use our phones everyday, and the text mesages, emails, and social media notifications add up. It can be a lot, so how can you feel like you have a fresh start to clean through all that clutter?

"I never deleted any. So I had more than two hundred thousand emails," Nicholas De Leon, Consumer Reports Tech Editor said.

Nicholas De Leon is a tech editor at Consumer Reports, and apparently someone who doesn’t like to delete anything. Or at least that’s the old Nicholas.

After receiving an email from Google saying he was about to be charged for more storage space for his Gmail account—he decided it was time to start cutting back.

"I became very dedicated to eliminating those kinds of little subscriptions from my life," Leon said.

And Google makes digital housecleaning a little easier with its Storage Manager.

"So if you have photos or videos or giant PDFs or things like that, it’ll highlight it. It’ll be like hey you’ve got all this stuff. Do you want to delete it?" Leon said.

Next, he searched his account for companies and brands he interacts with a lot.

"I don’t need electronics retailers’ circulars from 2009," Leon said.

Like Nicholas, you can also use the search tool to find emails with attachments or ones from certain dates. Then you can even create a filter to delete the emails it catches.

"Over the course of two days, a couple of hours each day—it was more than a hundred thousand emails I was able to delete," Leon said.

As you’re deleting emails… take note of any old digital accounts you don’t use anymore. Because keeping them open can create a security risk.

"The companies could be hacked and the information could get into the wrong hands," Thomas Germain, Consumer Reports Tech Editor said.

You can find forgotten accounts using the welcome email you got when signing up. You can also search your common usernames online, check your browser for saved passwords or your personal password manager. And if you signed up for any accounts through social media, like Facebook, you’ll find them there.

As for Nicholas, he says he’s working hard to keep his inbox in check and now he’s more vigilant about what emails he keeps.

"Do I need this delivery notification? Do I need this newsletter?" Leon said.