5 Crucial Document Security Mistakes You Need to Avoid

5 Crucial Document Security Mistakes You Need to Avoid

You might think employees writing passwords on Post-Its is your biggest document security concern. In reality, there are a lot of small mistakes you don't even realize your employees are making.

That adds up fast - the average global cost of a data breach is $3.62 million.

Don't throw away your money on fixable errors. Make sure your employees aren't making these five document security mistakes.

1. Sending Files Without Password Protection

It's one of those mornings: you hit every red light, your coffee spilled all over and you are now fifteen minutes late for that meeting.

You're in a hurry. Your colleague Jane needs a document. You sprint to your desk, scan it and send it to her.

Except it's the wrong Jane.

Et voila, major document security error.

This is an easy security error to make, especially if you send a lot of documents internally or often send these documents when you're running behind.

Look, even if you have the most trustworthy staff this side of the Atlantic, people make mistakes. Coffee is spilled, patience is fried, and emails get sent to the wrong people.

Do yourself a favor. Invest in a printer with password protection.

2. Destroying Too Soon

When in doubt, shred it out, right?

Wrong. Shred things for stress relief on your own time.

Most industries have legislation in place regarding how long they have to hold a confidential document before it can be destroyed. And noncompliance is going to cost you more than you think.

Don't be that guy. Here's what to do instead of guessing and shredding.

Have a Procedure

Your company should have a clearly outlined procedure for where documents are stored, in what format, for how long and who has access to them.

Oh, and it won't help you if your employees don't know what that procedure is, so check in with everyone periodically.

You should also make sure your employees are up to date on the latest rules and regulations - a lot of times, those will govern your storing and destroying procedure for you.

Have Backups

You keep physical copies of documents you sign, right? So why wouldn't you keep copies of important documents?

This is both for verification and just in case - if an employee accidentally destroys a document before they're supposed to, you'll have an extra with all the pertinent information.

Oh, and make sure to rename them so you don't confuse them with the original.

3. Leaving It On the Printer

You know how you're not supposed to leave your social security card and passport lying around, just in case someone ever broke into your house?

The same thing applies to document security. Specifically, the printer.

Here are two common mistakes people make in connection with the printer.

Don't Leave It In the Printer Tray

Not only is it wasteful (and irritating) to leave a stack of printed documents on the printer tray, it's a major security risk if it contains sensitive information.

Like, for example, customer financial information. Or your financial information.

An easy way to fix this is to have your printer authenticate users before they can print. And be aggressive about making sure everyone picks up their paper after they hit print.

The printer tray is many things. Your coffee table is not one of them. Don't treat it like one.

Don't Leave the Data on the Hard Drive

Welcome to the 21st century, kids. Your printer is a computer.

What does that mean for document security?

It means your printer is cleverer than it used to be. The smartest ones have hard drives. These interact with a huge portion of your company information flow - and you're probably not watching them as closely as your company computers.

The easiest way to fix this is to make it automatic - make sure your printer is overwriting its own hard drive for you. Don't be lazy about encrypting it, either.

4. Saving Sensitive Files in Unsafe Folders

The cloud is a beautiful thing. Trouble is, you usually need to save a scanned document to a local folder first.

Which is fine, if you delete it after it goes to the cloud. Guess what most people forget to do?

Listen, we know your employees are smart people. We know they're also busy people. Make their lives (and your document security) a little easier. Invest in a printer smart enough to send your documents straight to the cloud.

5. Sloppy Shredding

We get it. You're all about productivity. And you think managing your own shredding is a great way to do that.

First of all, good for you for thinking through your productivity.

Second of all, you're wrong. Sorry.

See, the process of destroying boxes and boxes of sensitive documents in-house requires more manpower than you think. You'll have to allocate an employee to hand-feed a budget paper shredder, during which time they'll have access to boxes and boxes of sensitive information.

Oh, and that budget shredder? Also a security issue.

For starters, that budget shredder is going to break down because of the volume of paper you're asking it to handle. It was designed to handle a document here or there, not reams of sensitive customer information.

It will also lack the advanced security features of a quality shredder. You know, the ones that make sure your destroyed document is actually secure.

Don't worry. We've got your back.

Our level 6 shredders are approved by the NSA/CSS. Yes, that NSA.

They're also trusted by federal government agencies and Department of Defense contractors to destroy documents efficiently and securely. In fact, it exceeds security regulations for shredding paper - the Super Micro Cut's particle sizes are mere millimeters.

Better Document Security with Destroyit

Your document security is important to the success of your business. And your security won't get far without a high-quality shredder to back you up.

We can help with that. We offer cross cut shredders, strip cut shredders, and level 6 shredders.

Not sure where to get started? Check out our blog post on how to choose the best shredder for your business.