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Clean your Virtual Desktop Day!

October 15, 2018

Get out some buckets, grab a rag… but hold the water, it’s Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day!

Have you ever looked at the home screen on any of your devices and wondered how THAT happened? You may have once had a clean virtual work space (probably the day you bought it, and every factory reset since then), but now you’re staring at what can best be described as: Icon Vomit.

This presents not only a problem for workability and aesthetics, but also increases your exposure to incidents of computer/device hacking. Essentially the more you have stored on your physical device, the more a potential hacker has access to.

Lucky for you, Canada’s Personal Computer Museum ( understands the struggle of trying to accomplish those tedious chores you keep putting off. They marked a day on everyone’s calendar just for this one, and it’s the third Monday of October.

This year, it’s October 15th, 2018. 

After reviewing how other people celebrate Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day, here are some of our favorites at Family Wealth Decisions Group:

1.   Take out the trash:

Begin by first figuring out what you have, and getting rid of everything you don’t need or want. Once you get rid of all that clutter, you’ll have much less to clean up later.

You know the hundred or so screenshots you took and have been meaning to delete?

Delete them.

How about those thousand plus memes (pictures with captions) from all seven of your Group Chats that you never look at again after they’re sent?

Get rid of them.

How about that Recycle Bin?

Review it and what you don’t need, permanently delete it.

2.   Get a storage unit:

No not literally. Virtually.

There are so many virtual storage options available now that it’s no longer necessary to store anything but the most important bare essentials on your desktop or home screen.

Services like The Cloud, Dropbox, Google, and Amazon Prime offer cloud or online storage options that are fairly easy to sign up for.

Or if you’re old-school, a USB flash drive or an external hard drive will also work to clear up some space without involving the Recycling Bin. If you decide to opt for this method, make sure they are password protected, and stored in a safe and secure location.

Now that you’ve got your exterior storage set up, let’s go through your accounts. Such as your applications and online accounts. If you don’t use them, get rid of them.

That means that not only should you get rid of the app, or remove it from your favorites bar, but make sure you also delete and or close the account. The more places that have your information, the greater the risk to your cybersecurity.

Bonus Tip: For media files such as music or movies, consider replacing your saved files with the use of a media player app or online radio.

3.    Box it up:

Take a step back and review what’s left.

Now think about how you organize your life.

You want to organize your desktop how you organize your life, or in some cases how you would like to have your life organized. Is it going to be a simple dichotomous personal/work method? Or more complicated like personal/financial/legal/work situation?

Whatever it is, make each of those components a folder on your desktop to act as your virtual filing draw. Now take whatever hasn’t been purged or uploaded, and sort it into these folders.

Make sure when you do this, you go through everything you are putting into your folders. Yes, it will be a bit time consuming, but the effort will be well worth it.

If there is anything left on your desktop or device that has any personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or you have copies of private documents, see if there is a way to store it somewhere else. Otherwise, set up a password on the document to add an additional layer of protection.

Bonus Tip: to create a secure password, think of a statement and using the first letter of each word, create a password. Include number(s) and symbol(s).

4.    Wipe it down:

Last, but not least, this step is an easy one: Wipe down your device. Clean up your workspace.

Now that you’ve put in the time clearing up your desktop or home screen, wouldn’t it be nice to appreciate your hard work through a clean screen?

Not to mention all the germs from tapping away at your keyboard, or the crumbs from that day (or days) you snacked while working.

Cleaning up your physical workspace, as well as your virtual, protects vital information from getting into the wrong hands. Make sure any portable storage devices, and important papers are safely locked away and not left lying out on your desk.


Keeping your devices and workspace clean is a vital, but often an overlooked step, in securing your personal information. Performing these simple steps will minimize your exposure to threats of computer hacking, identity theft, and credit card fraud. This year on October 15th, stop and take a few moments to clean up your desktop, and if you have any further questions or concerns on cybersecurity reach out to one of our team members to talk.

Remember, we are here to help.