Twelfth Night: decluttering for cyber security 

young girl cleaning windows to illustrate decluttering

Twelfth Night, the end of Christmastide, is traditionally the date by which your Christmas decorations should be taken down, the tree recycled, anything broken or damaged safely discarded, and the good stuff packed away for another year. It’s supposed to be bad luck to keep the decorations up past Twelfth Night. This process will leave your space decluttered, clean, and ready for action.  

With that thought in mind, here are 5 ways you could declutter your IT environment, cleaning it up, and helping to secure it by removing anything broken or unnecessary.  

  1. Clean up your passwords 

Make sure that all your passwords are strong and unique. We do go on about this, but that’s because it matters. The easy way to do this is to use a password manager to automatically create and store new, strong passwords, and then to reset old and insecure passwords in batches. 

  1. Declutter your data 

Do you really need your physics GCSE notes from several years ago? Thought not. The same is true for the data on your computers. Tidy it up, making sure that you have backups off-site (perhaps in the cloud) for anything that matters, and deleting anything that you no longer need. You certainly shouldn’t be hanging on to any customer-related personal data that you no longer need.  

  1. Minimise access 

Check that no-one in your organisation—and certainly no-one who has left—has access to any of your computer systems or data that they shouldn’t have. Don’t forget the physical keys to buildings or to secure cupboards. 

  1. Remove applications 

Is your computer gradually filling up with applications to do this and that, that you might have needed some time back, but haven’t used for a long time? Think about the apps on your mobile, too. They are probably several generations old, and could easily be a security risk. Remove any that you no longer use. It will free up space, and reduce your cyber risk. 

  1. Update everything 

As a final step, to get everything clean and fresh, sparkling and secure, make sure that you update everything you can, from your operating system to your applications. This will be a much quicker job now you’ve removed everything you don’t use any more. 


Once you’ve completed these 5 steps, not only should your computer run faster, and have more space available on it (so you can be more productive), your business should be more secure too. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of starting the new year off knowing that your work environment is clean and tidy, ready for you to start completing your New Year resolutions. 

If you’d like more help with securing your small business, contact the Click and Protect team on 0113 733 6230, or fill out our web form. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.