You’ve got a lot on your mind if you’re running a business. With customers, product launches, and managing employees, the last thing you have time for is figuring out how safe your files are.
Even if you don’t feel like you have time, you need to make time to secure your company’s most important documents. If you don’t, they could fall into the wrong hands, and your business could potentially be ruined.
Fortunately, keeping important documents safe isn’t as difficult as it sounds. With these tips, and a little planning upfront, keeping everything secure is a lot easier than you think.
Use a Document Management System
One of the best ways to keep your documents safe and secure is to use a document management system. It will keep everything organized. That way, you don’t waste any time trying to hunt down an important document when you need to retrieve it, but that’s not all.
A quality system will help you manage your files too. That means it can recognize security credentials among internal and external parties, all without having to worry about your documents being seen by unapproved people.
A quality system will also enable you to set permissions internally for different kinds of documents. That way, members of your team can see some documents, and not others, all according to what they need access to and when.
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Review Permission Settings Regularly
Permissions are a huge perk of a document management system, but that doesn’t mean you can set it and forget it. Your workforce is changing all the time, and the demands of their jobs are changing all the time. If you want to keep your documents safe, you have to review permission settings regularly.
There is a surprising amount of work that is created when an employee quits. Among the things you should do first is terminate their permissions. That way, they can’t potentially access your files and share your company’s secrets with their new employer.
You should also consider who needs access to which files regularly, even if they are still employed. For example, after a project is complete, the team may not need to access particular files anymore.
Protect Your Computer Systems
Thinking about the documents themselves and how they are stored are extremely important to keeping them secure, but these shouldn’t be your only worries. The best document management system in the world can’t protect you if your computer isn’t also protected.
It is extremely important to equip your computers with anti-virus software. Not only should you have quality software installed, you should also make sure that it is updated regularly. That way, third parties can’t sneak into your system and gain access to important documents and information. It also ensures your systems remain operational, so everyone can come in and get to work first thing in the morning without waiting for things to get back up and running after a breach.
Store Paper Files Appropriately
Nearly all of our files are going digital nowadays. That’s extremely convenient! It takes a lot less space to store digital files, and it takes a lot less time to access them too, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have some paper files to deal with.
Some documents stubbornly remain on paper, and some of these documents you need to hang onto for a lifetime. Others contain signatures that need to be preserved. No matter what the reason, you need to store them appropriately.
Store them separately from your everyday paperwork. Make sure they are in a locked cabinet, and hide them away from prying eyes. You may also want to consider storing them in a fireproof safe as well.
Destroy Documents You No Longer Need
Keeping documents secure also means knowing when and how to get rid of them properly. There are a number of ways you can destroy documents. Using a paper shredder is just one way of many that include:
- Pulp sensitive documents by mixing them with bleach and water. When done properly, documents can even be composted.
- Burning sensitive documents ensures no one gains access to paper files. Just check the ashes to make sure everything was burned properly.
- Digital files should be destroyed by overwriting the hard drive, degaussing the hard drive, or physically destroying it.
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Don’t think your documents are secure because they are saved on the computer or placed in your filing cabinet. Whether digital or paper, make sure everything is safely kept away from prying eyes with the tips on this list.
Important Documents Clipart Source: Hasshe.com