There are often critical documents that should be kept secret from leaking to unauthorized personnel for every business. These records could be correspondence, legal, accounting, personnel records, progress, and other essential documents. Keeping these documents secure is of utmost importance to every business. But it can be challenging to keep such documents secure at all times. So how do you ensure business documents remain secure always? Here are five great ways to help you address that.
1. Secure with Passwords
Adding a password to every business-related document on your devices is the first step to ensuring security. It’s quite common to keep some business documents on your laptop. Protecting these documents with passwords will ensure that they are secure at all times, even if your laptop falls into the wrong hands or is stolen. The same applies to your mobile devices. Laptop theft is a significant security threat to everyone in the world. According to research, one laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, and over 70 million phones are stolen per year. Password protecting your documents doesn’t have to cost anything, however. Microsoft Office has a built-in password protection feature for encrypting word and excel documents that’ll prevent unauthorized access and changes. Adobe Acrobat has the same feature inherently for encryption to prevent unauthorized printing, copying, editing and even opening PDF files.
2. Digitize Paper Records
Keeping essential records in filing cabinets, or worse, paper stacks out in the open is a commonplace practice in office environments. As long as you lock your door when you get out of the office, right? But, no, this doesn’t ensure complete security. Leaving documents in those broken filing cabinets or paper stacks is a security nightmare. Although paper copies offer great accessibility, the downside is enormous on the security front. What you should do is make digital copies of those paper documents by using a scanner. Once scanned, store the digital copies in secure cloud storage platforms, like Dropbox, SugarSync, and iCloud. Even better, cloud-storage platforms allow you to access your files from anywhere at any time. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about the records being destroyed in case of a natural calamity or break-ins. Platforms like Dropbox will also let you know when the file or files were last accessed and by who. It’s handy for teams to have a vulnerability scanner that’ll watch over your business’s cybersecurity space.
3. Have Strict Workplace Policies
Internal policies often play a significant role in document security. Have rules and regulations put in place to ensure employees keep records securely at all times. One, implement a workplace information destruction policy to govern what should be shredded and what should not. Please don’t leave this decision to your employees, dictate to them what should be done to what. Secondly, have a clean desk policy that ensures employees keep business documents locked up in drawers at all times to prevent unauthorized access from other unauthorized employees or visitors. Three, include a non-disclosure clause in employment agreements to prevent employees from sharing proprietary business information. And lastly, provide employees with training on document security. Let employees know how to handle essential business documents, know who to share what with, and what to do in case of suspected unauthorized access to these records.
4. Migrate to the Cloud
There are dozens of software as a service (SaaS) businesses that allow you, and your team to do nearly everything, if not everything, paperless. You can use such software to keep financial records in real-time, and employee payrolls in one single place. They offer the easiest access you can ever need and have simplified platforms for easier management. It eliminates the need to worry about keeping your paper documents secure, and there’s an assurance that your documents are secure at all times.
As a business owner, you have a mandate of keeping the businesses’ financial, legal or employee records secure because unauthorized access could cost you more than you can imagine. Business owners should start by making digital copies of their paper documents and then adding password protection. Backing up to the cloud is also important and for future-proofing, you can go paperless by leveraging various SaaS businesses that allow you to do everything paperless.