Implementing a clean desk policy for your organisation by ADDS

A clean desk policy isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s an important tool for preventing privacy breaches in the workplace. But how do you implement a clean desk policy in your organisation and make it stick? In this blog, we offer best practices for doing exactly that.

Clearly communicate goals

A clean desk policy benefits your organisation by eliminating identity theft and business fraud. The more clearly you explain security risks and the reasons for minimising them, the more likely you’ll receive buy-in from your staff. Listen to their suggestions and answer their questions. After all, information security is a team effort.

Define expectations

For a clean desk policy to be effective it needs well-defined expectations. Confidential and sensitive information should be removed from desks and locked in drawers or filing cabinets when a workstation is not in use or is unattended. Passwords should not be written on sticky notes and posted in accessible locations. Removable media such as data tapes and USB drives should not be left in plain sight. Copies and printouts should be removed immediately from copiers and fax machines and desktop computers should be shut down at the end of the workday.

Put it in writing

Don’t expect your staff to memorise every expectation of a clean desk policy. Put the policy in writing and post copies in high-traffic office areas. You can even add your clean desk policy to your employee handbook. Remember, a clean desk policy is a “living” document that needs to be routinely revisited and revised.

Verify compliance

Establish a process for ensuring compliance with your clean desk policy. Conduct random spot checks during normal business hours and after the end of the workday. Verification processes should include both lower and upper management workstations and offices.

Partner with an information and record management provider

An effective clean desk policy needs reliable support. Look for a trusted local information and record management company who offers services that can help your clean desk policy succeed. From secure storage and shredding of your confidential documents to IT and media destruction, the right provider will make sure your business information is secure at all times.

Adding a clean desk policy to your company’s information protection strategy will eliminate the liability of prying eyes gaining access to private information.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides information and record management solutions for businesses in London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon. Please contact the File Queen for a free consultation or further information filequeen@archivestorage.net.

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