5 Policies to Have in Place for a Data-Filled Workplace
Businesses that operate without clear-cut policies for managing workplace documents are opening themselves to significant security risks. If you’ve been working from an “everyone knows what they’re doing” perspective, now is the time to implement better practices.
Taking a few simple steps to improve data-related security can go a long way in keeping your employees, clients, and business safe from hackers and identity thieves.
1. Follow Best Practices for Passwords
It may be annoying, but changing passwords every 60-180 days is a simple practice that can keep your data safe from hackers. Employees may be tempted to use weak passwords, new passwords that only slightly differ from the last one, or the same password over multiple websites. All of these bad habits are a security risk. Instituting a policy to change passwords regularly is a good start, but going the extra step to ensure passwords are strong will help protect your company even better.
2. Avoid Using External Flash Drives
Flash or thumb drives are a convenient tool for transferring information, but they’re not a secure way to store sensitive information. They can be loaded with malware or taken out of the office and lost. Even if stored in a desk drawer, there’s no guarantee someone else won’t take it.
3. Avoid Taking Paperwork Home
It was once common practice for an employee to take home a briefcase full of important documents to work on later. Our digital information world hasn’t quite made paper obsolete, but it has made us more aware of how important it is to protect sensitive data. If employees must take paper documents out of the office, limit the practice to only non-sensitive materials.
4. Don’t Send Sensitive Information in Email
With more people working from home, emails and online messages have become an even more important form of communication. Email is fast and convenient, but it’s not secure. Hackers can easily access email and instant messaging information. Sending employee or client personal information this way could result in a security breach that ends up getting your business fined or putting someone else at risk for identity theft.
5. Destroy Outdated Sensitive Documents
Securely destroying paper and electronic information is one of the most important policies for managing workplace data. It’s also effortless when you contract with a shredding service. A professional asset management company safely destroys both paper and hard drives to keep your outdated data out of dishonest hands. Both onsite and offsite services are available. If your business generates a large quantity of sensitive material, consider having a secure document destruction cart in your workplace. You can contract for weekly or monthly shredding. Smaller businesses may prefer a one-time clean-out.
SEAM serves all sizes and types of businesses throughout North Dakota. We will shred and recycle your data to help keep you in compliance with all security regulations, and we always maintain a chain of custody of your documents by providing you with a Certificate of Destruction and Recycling.
Contact SEAM for a detailed risk assessment and learn more about keeping your North Dakota business or South Daktoa business data safe.