Despite the rising popularity of digital media and paperless campaigns, there is still an increasing demand for paper worldwide. While other media can offer convenience and security, paper still remains the most accessible and easiest to use the medium for the majority of the population.
Documents are an essential part of the daily operations of almost all businesses. These often contain sensitive information, some of which are relevant to customer-client relationships or carry internal knowledge for administrators and employees. Physical documentation requires proper handling and protection, so as to prevent any vital information from falling into the hands of unauthorized or malicious parties.
If you’re running one of the 93,581 businesses in the city of Toronto, it helps to know what options you have for keeping such information safe from prying eyes. Here are five ways to keep your business documents safe.
1. Know Proper Disposal Practices
The best way to keep information safe is to not write them down at all. That method, however, isn’t realistic and would also make remembering details you need for your operation a lot more complicated.
When you no longer need certain documents and are looking to declutter your office, you need to dispose of these papers properly. Throwing these documents away with your trash opens you up to information theft.
To ensure you keep information safe from thieves, make sure to follow proper document destruction procedures. Sensitive documents, particularly those that carry information that can be used in identity theft, should be kept secure even when they’re being thrown out. If you don’t have the equipment to shred or destroy such papers, you can find shredding companies in Toronto that could do it for you.
2. Establish An Organized Record Keeping System
A safe and secure filing system for documents you decide to keep is a must-have when you run a business. Find and establish a record-keeping system that’s ideal for your particular enterprise. Organizational options you have for your documents include filing by name, date, or file type.
Proper document organization makes it easier to locate files when needed and it also helps you notice immediately when files go missing.
You could also add expiration dates or indicate lifespans for each document. This will guide you when you need to choose files that are obsolete and may be candidates for data destruction or disposal procedures.
3. Secure Your Storage Area
If you’re storing physical copies of sensitive information, you will also need security options that are also physical. Restricting access to your document storage areas to keep them safe from theft and prying eyes is one thing you can do here.
Another option is to have filing cabinets that can only be opened by a select few. Storing your files in secure lockers, or even safes that only authorized employees can access, will help keep such info from being misused.
If you have a lot of files on hand and require additional storage, a separate yet secure room for file storage that you equip with appropriate locks and security monitors is a good idea.
4. Consider Scanning And Digitizing Paper Documents
Due to the pandemic, businesses everywhere were forced to limit in-person interactions. This also meant limiting access to pertinent documents and equipment just to continue operations. As a solution, businesses made the shift to remote working arrangements, relying primarily on online interactions and digital file storage.
If your business is reliant only on physical file storage systems, it’s probably high time that you digitize documents. Uploading them to a secure file hosting service allows you to provide file access to your workers. This allows you to give key personnel the information they need without the need to travel or see each other in person.
5. Password Protect Digital Files
Once you decide to digitize your files, make sure to protect them as well. There are numerous ways to do this, depending on whether you upload your files online or not.
If you choose to keep your files offline, you can store them in a separate, password-protected device. You can also add encryption to these files for another layer of protection. It’s also possible to password-protect specific files or entire folders, depending on which ones need more security.
If you need online file storage, do your research and choose a secure hosting service, especially for highly-sensitive files. Some hosting services allow you to customize permissions for each file, so you have full control over who can and can’t access your digital documents.
Establishing a comprehensive security system might be time-consuming at first and will require dedicated resources to maintain. This practice will protect your business, employees, and customers. It also maintains trust within the organization and strengthens your customer relationships.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.