It doesn’t matter whether or not you look after confidential information at work or you are looking to protect your own information at home, you need to know how to keep confidential information safe. In the workplace, your information is at most risk. It doesn’t matter what size business you have there will always be somebody out there who wants to take your information and your data and use it to their advantage. This can be prevented, however if you learn how and why keeping confidential information as safe as possible is important.
Below, you’ll be able to learn how to secure your email, how to secure your phone, and how to secure your devices to ensure that any information or data that you gather stays in the place that you put it in the first place. There are some of the ways that I can keep your confidential information safe at work
- Put in place a workplace information destruction policy. Ah, the good old shredder! Everybody loves to shred documents, so make sure that at the end of a week all of your employees shred any sensitive information and have a company collect it. There are businesses out there that will collect shredded sensitive documentation so that somebody cannot then steal the information and try to piece it back together. When you have a workplace information destruction policy on hand, all of your team will understand what to do when they are handling sensitive paperwork.
- Hire someone to test your systems. You never really know how secure or not your systems are until you put them to the test. And that means hiring someone who really knows what they are doing, who is able to actively test your systems to ensure that they are as you need them to be. If you can find someone who is experienced in penetration testing, specifically, that is going to help you a great deal and you will find that you are much more likely to have secure systems that you can trust. So this is a really vital part of the process here.
- Enforce a clean desk policy. While we are on the topic of policies in the business, you should ensure that everybody in your company is used to clearing the desk. If the workplace contract that you have finishes at 5 pm, then at 4:30 pm should be the time you ask your employees to stop working, and sort their desks. There should be no paperwork left out, no files on display. Anything that is not digital and sensitive should be shredded or filed away in lockable cabinets, and all computers and laptops should also be put into lockable cabinets. This is so important so that you can ensure that every single desk in your business is cleared away and does not look interesting to anybody who may try to break in.
- Invest in good employee training. If you want people to be securing their documentation you need to train them. Employees should be trying to handle confidential and proprietary information with care and sensitivity. There should also be an applied level of respect because this information is sensitive to your business and therefore should be sensitive to your staff. It doesn’t matter the media type for the entire life cycle of the information, shred all paper documents, share confidential information only with those who need to know, and insure that you have written, signed, confidential nondisclosure agreement before you disclose any confidential information outside the business. If any information has been exposed, it should be reported immediately. All of your employees should have signed a confidentiality waiver on their employment.
- Restrict access. Does everybody in your business need to have access to sensitive information? A company that holds confidential information should be careful to limit who has access to it. This should be on a need-to-know basis, so if the management team need to know things but the employees don’t, they should be hard copies of documents that are kept locked and electronic copies should be password protected and only those who need it should have it
- District and visitors. Visitors in the workplace should always sign a confidentiality agreement upon arrival, and they should be escorted at all times. If they’re going to be exposed to confidential data, and they are not on the need to know list, and you need to have a strict policy on this that everybody is aware of. This will prevent random visitors from dropping into your office and expecting to be able to access the information that they want to access.
- Investing in storage. For all physical documentation you have to take steps to ensure that there is as little risk as possible. This means that the locking safe that you use could be coded rather than keyed, because keys can be copied. You should have access to all of your physical documentation whenever you require it, so try not to send too much offsite.
- Always back up. If your information is online, you need to be backing up and saving it as you go. Backing up will ensure that in the event of a data disaster you can still access your information.