5 Tips To Ensure Your Business Handles Confidential Information Legally

Keeping Data Safe

Your business has a duty to protect confidential and sensitive information. Failure to do so could lead in the misuse of that information to commit illegal activity, such as fraud. This could lead to costly lawsuits, as well as loss of trust in your business.

Details that must be kept secure includes any personal or professional employee information, such as National Insurance number and address, as well as all customer and client details.  Any information that is released without permission is considered a breach of confidentiality.

So how can you secure your information in the workplace? Here are five easy ways to protect your company from falling foul of confidentiality laws.

1. Password Protection

To safeguard any information that’s stored electronically, highlight the importance of locking computer screens when employees step away from their desks and that they should never pass over log-in details or passwords to colleagues. With the rise of cyber security breaches, it’s important that all electronic confidential information should be protected by firewalls, passwords and encryption – including any USB or hard-drives that are used to store and transfer information.

Those operating e-commerce businesses will be especially aware that data protection is paramount to protect their profits, fulfill legal requirements and protect their customers. However everyday SME owners are now also becoming more aware of the risk they face thanks to a recent government initiative to combat the issue. More information can be found here.

2. Confidential Waste

Make sure there are a number of confidential waste bins around the office. These are locked bins with a one-way feed so that information cannot be retrieved and then it is collected and disposed of safely. Invest in a shredder for the office to discourage employees from throwing any sensitive documents in an unsecure waste-paper bin. Shredding documents will ensure that your business remains compliant with the Data Protection Act and it will protect you from the threat of information theft.

3. Secure Delivery

For confidential paperwork or parcels that need to be posted, ensure that all documents and the envelope are clearly marked as confidential and use a reliable and secure delivery service, such as those offered by TNT. Their services run 24/7 all year around and they offer same day and express delivery if you require documents to be delivered quickly and safely.

4. Lockable Cabinets

Implement a clear desk policy so that employees do not leave any confidential paperwork on their desks overnight. You can provide employees with a lockable drawer to store any paperwork securely, or provide lockable cabinets that are accessible to only those who require access to the documentation.

5. Employee Awareness

Organise safeguarding and confidentiality training for your staff so that they are fully aware of what they can and cannot disclose in the workplace or to a third party. They should know what files and information they are permitted to access and the processes in place to protect it.

Don’t risk damaging your company’s reputation. Follow these five tips to ensure your business adheres to confidentiality laws and handles sensitive, classified information in a secure way.

Marcus Turner Jones

Marcus graduated in Economics from the University of Sheffield before working in London in the finance sector. He now lives in Buenos Aires as a freelance writer and investor with his dog, Luna.