- Identify what documents are confidential in your organization.
- Develop a security plan specifying who has access to sensitive documents, how to secure them, and the appropriate use of data.
- Designate a physical storage room, such as a file cabinet or safe.
- Secure electronic documents with passwords, encryption, and VPNs.
- Educate employees on document security measures and destroy documents when needed.
Sensitive documents such as confidential data, intellectual property, business contracts, medical records, and personal information must be kept secure in the workplace. The leakage of such information could result in serious consequences such as lost business, lawsuits, identity theft, and even ruin the company’s reputation.
As a result, protecting the confidentiality of sensitive documents must be a top priority. In this blog post, we will discuss the fundamental aspects of document security and how to keep sensitive documents safe in the workplace.
Know What Documents are Confidential
To keep sensitive documents secure, it is crucial to identify what information is classified as sensitive in your organization. The definition of sensitive information may vary by company or industry.
Still, it includes a broad range of personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, intellectual property, personal health information (PHI), legal materials, and company secrets. Once you recognize what documents are confidential in your organization, you can create processes to handle and secure them.
Develop a Security Plan
Document security is a fundamental aspect of the company’s overall security. Therefore, creating a comprehensive plan to manage, store, and distribute sensitive data is essential.
The security plan outlines who has access to what documents, how to secure them physically and electronically, and the appropriate use of confidential data. Document security policies should be easy to understand and enforced regularly. Here are some ideas that you can use in developing a security plan:
Designate a Storage Room
One of the best ways to secure confidential documents is to designate a physical storage room, such as a file cabinet or safe. This ensures that unauthorized personnel do not easily access the documents and can only be accessed by those with the correct credentials.
Change the Room’s Locks
Once you have designated a storage room, you must ensure the locks are changed regularly. For this, you may want to use Sargent cylindrical locks, as these locks are designed for commercial or industrial use and provide superior protection against unauthorized access. No one can access the room without the correct key.
Limit Access to Authorized Personnel
It is also essential to limit access to authorized personnel only. You can do this by using access control systems such as a biometric reader or card reader that restricts physical access by verifying the identity of personnel with an ID. This way, unauthorized personnel are prevented from entering the storage room and accessing the documents.
Secure Your Electronic Documents
In today’s digital age, every document now exists in electronic form. From personal information to financial records, electronic documents have become essential to our daily lives. However, as electronic documents become more prevalent, securing these documents is becoming increasingly important. With cyber-attacks and identity theft looming, securing your electronic records is more critical than ever.
The first and easiest way to secure your electronic documents is to use passwords. Using passwords to restrict access to sensitive documents is an effective way to prevent unauthorized access. The best part is that passwords are free and readily available on most devices. Set strong passwords consisting of at least eight characters, including numbers, letters, and special characters.
Encrypt Sensitive Documents
Encryption is another robust way to secure your electronic documents. Encryption is converting electronic data into an unreadable format to prevent unauthorized access, making it unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the key to decrypt it.
Most devices can encrypt documents, and you can choose your level of encryption strength. For example, 128-bit encryption is a standard encryption level used worldwide.
Use a VPN
If you need to send sensitive data over a public network, consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your internet traffic and provides a secure channel for your data to travel through. Using a VPN ensures that nobody can snoop on your data while in transit.
The protection and confidentiality of sensitive documents in the workplace are essential for the company’s and its employees’ safety. Educating employees on how to manage, store and distribute sensitive data, developing a comprehensive security plan, securing both physical and electronic documents, and destroying documents when they’re no longer needed are necessary safeguards in ensuring the safety of sensitive documents.
By implementing these measures, you can safeguard sensitive data and minimize the risk of data breaches or leaks, which can negatively impact your business, finances, and reputation.