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What Every Employee Should Know about Data Protection

As an employee, you’re essential to your company’s success. What are you doing to make sure sensitive information stays secure at work? Here’s what you should know about data protection.

Vigilance Never Stops

Threats are persistent and varied, which means you must keep your guard up. Criminals sift through rubbish bins, break into cars, and send phishing emails to exploit data protection vulnerabilities. When responding to emails, talking on the phone, or transporting confidential documents, always remain cautious and vigilant.

Suspicious Activity Should Be Reported

As a team member, you have a responsibility to report data breaches and suspicious activity to your employer as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the potential for widespread damage. Report suspicious emails, links, and attachments immediately so your IT department can isolate the issue and prevent it from spiralling out of control.

Old Data Doesn’t Disappear from Expired Devices

If a thumb drive, data tape, or mobile device isn’t working, don’t throw it away. Physical destruction is the only way to make sure data stored on IT devices is unreadable and unusable. Your employer should partner with a media destruction provider to allow you to dispose of unwanted IT devices in a prompt, secure, and environmentally-friendly manner.

Ditch the Weak Passwords

Although data protection awareness is on the rise, password security is still a problem for many organisations. If you’re using an easy-to-remember password, there’s a good chance it’s not secure. Instead, combine letters, numbers and non-alphanumeric characters in your passwords and change them often to prevent your logins from being hacked. A password management application will encrypt your passwords and remember them for you. Pay attention to mainstream news outlets for data breach notifications, such as the recently-announced Twitter Password Bug and take action as needed.

Networks Aren’t the Only Point of Entry

Hacks and cyber-attacks may grab the most headlines, but criminals don’t just focus on corporate networks. They also work from the inside, exploiting organisations with weak document and data storage habits. Never leave sensitive files and digital devices unattended. If your company is partnered with a file storage and media vaulting provider, follow recommend practices for accessing physical data securely.

Data Protection Is a Team Effort

 No one person can be solely responsible for a company’s information security plan; data protection is a collective effort. As an individual, don’t be afraid to make suggestions and promote security initiatives. In time, your colleagues will follow your lead, and as a result, your organisation’s data will be more secure.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides records and information management solutions for businesses throughout London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Natasha Rawley The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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