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Why enforce a clean desk policy

3 Times When It’s Crucial to Enforce a Clean Desk Policy

July 23, 2018


Think of all the data security policies your company has in place. If you like to stay on top of things, you should have an internet usage policy, an access control policy and a social media policy, among others.

But of all the corporate data security policies any company has, a clean-desk policy is probably the least understood and least properly used.

What is a Clean Desk Policy?

The first misunderstanding people have about clean-desk policies is because of its name. Clean-desk policies aren’t really about keeping your desk or work area clean and tidy.

So the first step any company takes to institute a clean-desk policy is to let everyone in the company know why the policy is in place, which is to keep data secure.

A clean desk policy should outline what documents, folders, and media must be put away or locked. It should also state the times they should be removed from a desk, like at the end of every day or any time employees are away from their desks.

Your company should provide adequate storage space and document destruction procedures to support the clean desk policy. This includes access to a document shredder or secure storage areas for documents that are to be shredded.

When people know the full reasoning behind a clean-desk policy, they will be more likely to follow it for the right reasons.

Times When it is More Important to Remind Staff of Your Clean Desk Policy

While every data security policy should be followed at all times, sometimes it is worth reminding staff to follow the policy. The following times are among those that you might want to make sure your staff remembers your clean desk policy.

1. When the Cleaners Visit

Some workplaces are not cleaned every day, but only occasionally, like one a week or once every couple of weeks. In those cases, staff may forget that any documents left on desks may be more at risk than at other times.

2. Weekends

While most employees enjoy a couple days off on weekends, many may need to come in to complete their work. Without supervisors or colleagues around, it’s easier for them to see any exposed information.

3. When Employees Leave for Vacations

When employees won’t be at their desks for extended periods. Something can go missing from the desk and they have no way of knowing. They return, they may not even remember the missing document. In other words, vacation time gives data thieves an opportunity to do their dirty work without anyone ever noticing something is missing.

Of course, certifiably destroying the data held on corporate documents and media. Is the best way to make sure it can never be stolen. Contact Papersavers to learn more.

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