Research by Irongate Group partner, Fellowes, has found that 49 percent of people see confidential papers that have been left on the printer and 71 percent of UK professionals admitted to reading other people’s work over their shoulder. With this in mind, Irongate Group’s Facilities Specialist, Pam Wakefield says that businesses have a real responsibility to ensure that any sensitive information stays confidential.
With ID fraud costing the UK around £3.3 billion every year, Pam says that if your business is affected by identity fraud, there could be substantial damage, not just to partners who deal with you, but to your company's reputation and most valuable asset – your brand.
She said, “businesses can be fined up to £500,000 by not having a proper management strategy for document disposal and data protection. It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is; Data Protection laws are becoming stricter. The great thing is that there are plenty of options available to help you stay protected.”
Here are Pam’s top three tips for protecting data and keeping information confidential:
- Beware of the shoulder surfer.
The People Security Visual Data Breach Risk Assessment Study found that 55 percent of working professionals use their laptops in busy public places at least once a week. It’s essential that businesses provide their employees with a privacy screen, so that if your screen is viewed from the side, it’s a complete black out.
- Know the risks.
Make sure that everyone in your business is aware of the risks of identity fraud, both for your business and your customers. Create a clear set of guidelines concerning the handling, storage, sharing and disposal of sensitive information, online and off-line. Companies should make a list of which documents need to be shredded and communicate that to staff.
- Always shred.
Ensure all employees have access to a cross-cut shredder. Position them near copiers and printers for quick and easy shredding of documents. Never throw away confidential information in to a bin without shredding first. Make sure that your shredding facility is fit for your business – choose auto-shredders for shredding on site or if you get through lots of confidential documentation, think about outsourcing.
Irongate’s shredding audit is part of InOne, the new single source business supplies package that helps business save time and money. To book a free confidential shredding audit, call Irongate Facilities on 01332 614602.