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Clean Desk Policy – How to keep your workspace safe

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More and more companies are introducing a clean desk policy. This does not only mean cleanliness in its literal sense, but also aims at paving the way for new concepts, such as desk sharing, with data protection taking top priority. A messy workspace is a hotspot and a real goldmine for all those who love to snoop.

These are the biggest data protection traps in the workspace

1. Always lock your door and your storage container and never leave the key in the lock when leaving the office.

Office with opened door
"Time for lunch. Already looking forward to it, aren't you? Me too, as it seems to be open day at the office today."

2. Always lock your computer before leaving your workspace. Even if you are only going for a quick toilet break.

Workplace with unsecured laptop
"Perfect, an unlocked computer – the faster I can find the information I am looking for."

3. Memory aids for passwords must never lie or hang openly in the office. For instance, use a password manager instead.

Memory aid with password
"Your colleague locks the computer when leaving his workspace. While this is a good approach, it is no use if, at the same time, he leaves the memory aid for his passwords lying around in the open."

4. Always pick up your printed documents from the printer immediately and check the latter before leaving the office.

Printer with documents
"I also like to check the printer. Maybe someone has left something in there."

5. Always stow away storage devices containing sensitive data in a locked cabinet. To increase safety, it is best to use password-protected flash drives and hard drives.

Flash drive
"Well, what do we have here? A flash drive. I wonder what data it contains."

6. Here, too, carefully locking the cabinet and safely storing the key is the way to go.

Open filing cabinet under the desk
"Jackpot! You left the filing cabinet open."

7. Files and documents with sensitive content must be stored in the filing cabinet or they must be destroyed and disposed of properly with a document shredder!

Full recycling bin under the desk
"Oh, you're really making it easy for me! The project printouts in the recycling bin contain interesting information."

Seek and you shall find

Always keep sensitive data at your workspace protected from prying eyes. By the way: The clean desk policy applies not only to the office, but also to the home office. Secure your workspace in your own home, too, and avoid taking home a lot of unnecessary printouts from the office. There is always a risk of losing something along the way.

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Cristian Mudure
About the Author:
Cristian Mudure is the Founder and CEO of Stackfield. He loves digital business models and spends his spare time on the tennis court.
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