Are You Familiar with a Clean Desk Policy? Here’s Why it Works
If you’re familiar with our company, you will know that we are professionals in the information security industry, providing effective services that essentially help to keep your sensitive information organized and most importantly secure. Our services also assist in your compliance with critical privacy legislation, which you have a legal responsibility to uphold.
With all of that said, it’s not always easy to stay on top of the status of your documents, but it’s an extremely important process that should be a priority regardless. There are far too many risks to your security when confidential material is handled improperly or disposed of incorrectly. Information theft is increasingly on the rise and businesses and consumers need to remain proactive to protect themselves from falling victim.
Many workplaces currently have different policies in place aimed at reducing the risk of letting information leak into unauthorized hands. What is the most common and universal policy however, that is practiced throughout the United States? The Clean Desk Policy. The benefits of this policy are truly invaluable to businesses that have implemented them effectively.
What Does a “Clean Desk Policy” Involve?
In essence; a Clean Desk Policy, requires office desks and computer monitors of employees to remain free from business documents or otherwise sensitive material, prior to leaving for the day. The main purpose behind this policy is to encourage and remind employees that an organized system such as this, means documents won’t mistakenly get lost or slip out the door. Whether they are locked away securely or shred professionally, all that matters are that they are not left out in the open. A Clean Desk Policy keeps clutter at bay and it’s a great step towards internal security measures.
How Can it Benefit My Business?
Clean Desk Policies can offer many benefits to your workplace:
- Improves Data Security
This is of most importance. By mandating that all records be stored out of site securely, when the office is empty, the risk of sensitive information being exposed to unauthorized persons, reduces dramatically.
- Reduces Employee Stress
You can minimize stress and unnecessary wasted time by ensuring your file system and paper-flow remains organized and easily accessible. Having a Clean Desk Policy encourages everyone to be more conscious to where information is kept; making it easier to find information when it’s required.
- Employees Can Find Information Faster
When employees are aware of where information is located, less time is required to physically search for that information, thus using employee’s hours far more effectively.
Tips for Success
A Clean Desk Policy has the potential to improve the security of your business and information substantially, but like anything, it must be implemented and communicated properly to be effective. Here’s how you can ensure proper communication:
- Put it in writing
- Make sure it is detailed, but not so detailed as to cause misunderstanding
- Use precise and simple language
- Highlight the importance of the policy, both internally and legally (if appropriate)
- Add a reminder of the policy to email signatures
After successful implementation, it is wise to stress test the policy and assess the results to see whether the policy is being practiced and is having any meaningful effect. Workplaces are unique in many ways and it may be necessary to tailor your policy to fit the needs and expectations of your workplace.
Document Shredding Helps Tremendously with a Clean Desk Policy
Unfortunately, far too often than not, documents are found in workplace recycling bins; a spot that presents red flags immediately. Why? Tossing confidential paperwork in the recycling bin undoes many of the security benefits that come with the Clean Desk Policy. Documents are highly vulnerable to theft when left in an open recycling bin as anyone can gain access if they so wish.
Make sure your documents are disposed of securely with secure shredding services from Secure Shredding & Recycling. Reach out to our team to find out more about our services, and to put together a solution that meets your requirements and budget.