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How Your Business Can Fully Secure Private Documents In The Office

Securing private documents in the office is more important than ever before. Theft and misuse of confidential information about the company, employees, customers, and financial records can be catastrophic for any business. Not to mention that your enterprise might face significant legal consequences if you fail to secure confidential documents.

Digital data security has been the focus of many companies today, and rightly so. However, a lot of information is still contained on paper documents, and if these aren’t handled properly, they can pose a significant security threat. A shady employee doesn’t need to crack the password as they can simply snap a photo of the documents. 

With that said, here’s how you can completely secure confidential documents in your office.

  • Secure The Storage

The first step is to make sure all private documents are securely stored in a safe location such as the company vault or smart lockers at the end of the day. This should be part of the daily office work routine.

Also, take a close look at your office’s storage room. Does it have a functional lock? Who is authorized to access this room? What measures are being taken to keep unauthorized persons from accessing this room?

When you keep the lockers or vaults locked, you’re already taking reasonable measures to secure your confidential physical documents. 

However, you might want to consider adding extra security measures by installing surveillance cameras or restricting access to the storage room. If any file goes missing, you should be able to trace who handled it last. 

  • Educate Your Employees About Data Security

Establishing document security protocol is essential in securing physical and electronic documents belonging to your business. Everyone in your company—the executives, department heads, IT team, and the rest of the staff—should be well acquainted with the document destruction policy, clean desk policy, proper disposal of outdated sensitive documents, phishing scams, and password protection. 

Training about data confidentiality and security should be done regularly to instill the importance of securing confidential documents and ensure strict compliance among your employees. You may conduct employee training on the non-technical aspects of data security or hire a professional to conduct comprehensive training, including protecting digital data. 

  • Shred Outdated Documents

Formulate a document destruction policy to ensure that outdated sensitive documents are securely disposed of. Such documents include company data, employee information, and client records containing personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, address, telephone number, and Social Security number. 

Most state regulations require that records containing PPI be securely destroyed via shredding, as a data breach could lead to identity theft. On the other hand, a breach of company data could result in financial loss and reputational damage. 

The policy should also dictate how long confidential documents must be kept before being destroyed. Marking boxes of old private documents with a destruction date is also a good practice. 

Once a document has reached its destruction date, it should be shredded immediately and not just tossed into the trash bins. Furthermore, when these documents are allowed to sit in storage for a long time, they can pose a huge security risk, especially if they’re accessed by unauthorized persons. 

  • Adopt A Clean Desk Policy

Another strategy that reduces the risk of data breaches is implementing a clean desk policy. This policy requires employees to remove confidential documents from their desks at the end of the working day or lock them away when they leave their workstations. 

By the same token, employees should never leave sensitive documents lying around in random places such as break rooms, printing areas, or conference rooms. These documents can be conveniently copied using a photocopier or scanned using a smartphone.

  • Digitize Documents As Backups

For most organizations anywhere in the world, paper documents pose a greater security risk than digital files. It’s either an employee loses a hard copy of a specific document, or an outsider is able to bring it out of the premises without anyone knowing. 

Digitizing documents as backups is an ideal way of protecting confidential files. Create digital copies of all the important files and then apply security measures to ensure maximum protection of these electronic files.

Summing It All Up

If your sensitive business information were to fall into the wrong hands, it could bring about serious consequences ranging from reputational damage to legal penalties. Therefore, you need to implement a strict data security policy to ensure that all physical and electronic documents are fully protected. Doing so can prevent your business from dealing with a world of problems down the road.


I am Content Writer . I write Technology , Personal Finance, banking, investment, and insurance related content for top clients including Kotak Mahindra Bank, Edelweiss, ICICI BANK and IDFC FIRST Bank. Linkedin


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