Running a small business can be hard work. In many cases, you have several hats and need to handle the IT issues while dealing with customers and trying to drive your business forward.
This can often lead to an accumulation of documents, some of which should be filed and others need to be disposed of. However, the truth is that you may leave these documents exposed, putting yourself, your customer, and the business at risk.
If you’re wondering how then just consider what someone could do with all your company information, including a list of your clients. That’s why you need to implement the following three methods straightaway.
- Shred Everything
Paper that has been printed and is no longer needed cannot be placed into a bin. This is asking someone to find it and use the information for nefarious gain. Instead, you need to take a look at paper shredders on the market and choose one to invest in.
This means that all documents which aren’t being securely filed can be shredded. Make sure you get a security shredder that shreds the paper in both directions, this makes it virtually impossible for anyone to put it back together.
- Digitize Everything
In keeping with shredding all printed things, you should start to file everything digitally. This reduces your printing needs, your use of paper, and improves your environmental footprint as you aren’t using paper or throwing away ink cartridges regularly.
Documents that arrive digitally can be saved directly into a client file. If the documents are already printed then you’ll want to scan them onto the system. This should be a simple process.
But, the key to securing the documents is to use passwords. In most cases, you’ll want a digital copy in your own files, with a password protecting it. You’ll also want to keep a copy of the document on the cloud, in a secure server with password protection.
- Review Internal Policies
Finally, to ensure all your documents are secure you should take a look at your internal policies. This means checking the access rights to ensure people can’t accidentally look at files they are not supposed to.
You also need to ensure you have an encrypted and secure data storage system.
But, internal policies should also cover more mundane issues, such as leaving sensitive pieces of paper on a printing machine. If you are printing to a shared printer, get the document immediately.
Don’t forget to look at your policies for data retention and how this data is stored as well as how long it is stored for. In most cases, you’ll need to use your best judgment.
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Naturally, if an employee with password access leaves the company you should revoke the password and access permissions immediately. This will prevent them from accessing sensitive information and potentially causing issues.
In most cases, you already know how to secure your small business documents. What you need to do is create a policy that will ensure these documents are secured properly every day.