How to Keep Confidential Information Safe
Shredding physical documents, installing anti-malware software, and taking regular backups are some of the important ways to keep your confidential data safe.3 min read
Are you wondering how to keep confidential information safe? Shredding physical documents, installing anti-malware software, using data encryption and taking regular backups are some of the important ways to keep your confidential data safe.
Keeping Your Computer Information Safe
It's important to install quality antivirus software to protect your computer information from hackers and other risks of unauthorized access.
Buying an antivirus program does not cost you a lot of money. Some of the good programs out there are available for free or less than $20 for a half-year subscription. You can also use these free and inexpensive virus protection programs simultaneously with a more expensive program if you decide to buy one.
In addition to viruses, you should also protect yourself against other threats not covered by antivirus software. There are several free and effective anti-spyware programs available; you may want to download one if you are not already protected against spyware and other malware.
In addition to the information stored on your computer, you should also consider the safety of information while sending it. Be sure to use an effective encryption program while transmitting confidential information so that the data does not get into the wrong hands.
You should also protect your electronic files against computer failures and natural disasters. Although losing your computer data this way may be less harmful than being stolen by hackers, it's nevertheless harmful to your business. It's a good practice to take a regular backup of your data and keep it at a safe place. Remember that a backup taken on a CD or a separate drive and kept at the same location as your computer may still be destroyed by a natural disaster along with your computer.
Keeping Your Paper Documents Safe
It's not just the electronic documents that get lost. Paper documents too can be lost or stolen. It's equally important to protect your paper documents. Consider getting a safe locker or some other secure storage device, depending upon your budget and the importance of documents.
How to Protect Your Company Data
According to research conducted by Shred-it, businesses, irrespective of their size, do not follow proper information security procedures. As a result, companies often encounter issues like fraud, identity theft, reputation damage, and high employee turnover.
You should consider implementing the following policies to keep your company data safe:
- Follow a Shred-All Policy: Instead of asking your employees to determine which documents are confidential, you should follow a policy of shredding all business documents that are no longer needed. This will reduce the scope of human errors to a great extent.
- Remember to Destroy the Hard Drives: If you have stored any confidential information on your computer or external hard drive, it's not enough to just erase the data. Make sure you completely destroy the hard drive before disposing of it; otherwise, you'll always run the risk of data thieves recovering your data.
- Make Document Security Easy: Place locked receptacles in easily accessible areas so that no one can access sensitive documents after their disposal.
- Shred the Documents Before Recycling: Don't let important documents lie in recycling bins. Shred them as soon as possible.
- Build a Culture of Security: Train your employees the importance and best practices of information security. Perform a security audit at regular intervals.
- Have a Preventive Approach: Instead of taking action against breaches, focus on developing an integrated, long-term preventive approach. Minimize the risk of a security breach at the source and secure the entire lifecycle of documents in the organization.
Securing Your Devices and Networks
- Data Encryption: Use data encryption for emails and other channels of communication.
- Data Backup: Take regular data backups to safeguard against data corruption and system failures. Consider using cloud storage wherever possible.
- Anti-Malware Protection: Install a quality anti-malware program on computers.
- Data Destruction: Instead of just erasing the data, completely destroy the hard drives before disposing of them.
- Operating System Updates: Update your OS regularly. This will patch up any likely security loopholes. Consider enabling automatic updates.
- Secure Wireless Network: Always protect your wireless network with a strong password so that others cannot break through your private network.
- Power Off: Shut down your computer or don't leave it connected to the Internet, when not in use.
- Firewalls: Use a firewall to block unsafe programs and viruses.
- Admin Login: Restrict logging in with administrator privileges only when you really need to.
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