Over recent years, there have been innumerable technological advancements that make the workplace more high-tech, more efficient, and more futuristic on a daily basis. Just a decade or two ago, organizations relied on physical documents that they had to manually file. Today, paperless technology has enabled these same organizations to remove the hassle of file cabinets and archives, simplifying their jobs.
Of course, most organizations still have paper documents, especially in certain industries, like banking and healthcare, where compliance and regulation play a large role.
Whether you’ve already gone completely paperless, you’ve seriously cut back on your paper-based documents, or you still rely on paper-based documents in your workplace, keeping your documents safe and secure is an essential task. Poor document management increases security risk, and losing any number of particular documents can be disastrous. Here are 6 tips for ensuring document security.
1. Go Paperless
A great first step to take that can make major improvements to your document organization is to go paperless. Converting your physical documents to digital copies, and storing them in secure folders in the cloud, will increase their security and reduce risk. It will also make your office more efficient, as content management tools (like imaging and indexing tools or enterprise content management tools) can reduce the time spent searching for particular documents. Going paperless also reduces the risk of documents getting lost, torn, damaged, or destroyed, plus most content management tools come equipped with the ability to select who in your organization has access to certain documents.
2. Take the Time to Organize Your Documents
When you walk into your office in the morning, do you find large stacks of paper scattered about? How efficiently can you look through a file cabinet? Are folders and files in their proper place? It’s important to keep documents organized, whether or not there are paper-based. If your office is in disarray, take the time (as soon as possible) and get things in order. Leaving papers all over the place is not an effective way to organize your documents, and it leaves them ready for a security breach.
3. Control Who Can Access Your Documents
During this organization, it’s important to take note of which employees have access to which documents—especially if you are in an industry where audits and compliance are a major concern. By ensuring that only qualified employees can handle your most sensitive documents, you will reduce the risk of compromising their security.
4. Change Your Passwords Regularly
In 2015, passwords need to be a little more sophisticated. Passwords like “1234,” “ABCD,” and “Password” just don’t cut it anymore. For the greatest security, your passwords should be long, should include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, or special characters. And, importantly, they should be changed regularly to reduce the risk of online threats.
5. Implement Authorization Procedures
As mentioned, content management tools allow you the ability to choose which employees have access to which documents. Take the time to determine who gets access to which documents, based on whether or not they’re qualified to handle sensitive documents and if their job requires access to certain documents.
6. Educate Your Employees
Lastly, take the time to educate your employees. Talk about organization and document safety, and the steps and procedures they should follow to maintain an organized office and document security. In order to make sure that all your documents are properly cared for and stored, everyone in the office needs to be on the same page (no pun intended).