Tips and Best Practices for Handling Confidential Material

Confidentiality is key to any business. Breaches of security can come in all forms. The most common are cybersecurity breaches, but have you ever thought about the critical and confidential hard copy information that could be sitting around your office?

To avoid breaches of security, all hard copies of confidential information should be contained in a secure location and electronic files with this information must be safeguarded.

Here are 4 tips to protect confidential documents as they pass through your business.

1.  Control access

Employee access to digital information should always be restricted with passwords, firewalls, and encryption. It seems obvious and second nature for a business to do this, but did you know: 65% of businesses do not strictly enforce their company password policy? Passwords must be secure and changed regularly. Rules can be set up to require users to create passwords that include a combination of upper and lower-case letters, along with special characters.

2.  Confidential recycling receptacles and shredders

Although we’ve moved to a digital society with E-signatures and online contracts, a typical business still produces a considerable amount of paper. Confidential documents should be shredded or placed in a confidential trash container (in many instances it can also be recycled) until they are picked up to be destroyed.  Companies, like ShredHub, provide collection services for sensitive hard copies.

3.  Secure document storage cabinets

In some cases, confidential documents can’t be destroyed immediately and must be saved for future use. Employee records, financial information and any personal information should never be left in the open before they are destroyed.  Keep them in a lockable storage cabinet with limited access. Once the documents are scanned, there are companies available that provide onsite purging services once your secure cabinets are full or the documents are no longer needed.

4.  Employee education

Remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link; and no one wants to be the weakest link! A business can run into severe challenges if even just ONE employee does not take the time to safeguard their confidential information or even if their IT staff isn’t on top of things. Educate your companies employees about protecting confidential information, beginning with explaining why confidentiality is critical to the business. Next, train your staff on the practical aspects of data protection that are discussed above, such as using secure passwords and the proper destruction of confidential documents.  It’s essential in today’s technological world for businesses to safeguard the confidentiality of their companies documents.

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