In today's digital age, businesses rely heavily on electronic documents for their day-to-day operations. From financial records to client information, these documents hold sensitive and confidential information that must be protected from prying eyes. However, with cyber threats on the rise and data breaches becoming increasingly common, it's more important than ever to ensure that your business documents are secure. 

This article will explore some essential tips and best practices that you can implement to keep your business documents safe and secure. So, explore the most effective ways to protect your valuable business data below.


1. Incorporate E-Signs In Your Company

People often confuse e-signatures with digital ones, but they are different. An e-signature mimics a signature you'd write on a hard copy. A digital signature is a type of electronic signature. It's based on asymmetric cryptography and can provide evidence of electronic documents' origin, identity, and status. 

With the advent of technology and its ability to streamline many different processes, you no longer have to send a document back and forth through email between yourself and your client.

With the advent of technology and its ability to streamline many different processes, you no longer have to send a document back and forth through email between yourself and your client.

The traditional process is risky, especially if it involves sending documents with sensitive data. However, now that things have changed, you can send such documents to your clients or partners online, and they can legally sign them using a free electronic signature. This method is better and guarantees your documents’ safety.  


2. Develop A Record Retention Policy

A plan will help you track what information should be kept in electronic and hard-copy files. Include any items that need to be treated as confidential. Likewise, it's best to specify the following:

• The type of files to save
• How long to keep them
• Where to store them

It is also important to include instructions on how to destroy paper and digital records when they are no longer needed.


3. Ensure You Have Digital Copies

To protect critical documents, you need to store your documents in other areas other than in a locked file cabinet. You can therefore scan hard copies and save the digital copies in the following places:

• Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive
• External hard drive
• Cloud-based storage

If you store documents on a remote server, such as in the cloud, any team member can access those documents from anywhere. Moreover, you won't have to worry about the files getting lost in a natural disaster like a fire, flood, or hard drive crash.

Cloud storage also allows you to track who lastly accessed a file, at what time, and if they shared any information. This reduces the chances of your business data getting compromised, hence enhanced security.


4. Ensure You Secure Both Your Physical And Digital Storage 

For physical documents, ensure you keep them in rooms whose access is regularly monitored. Thus, you can install security gadgets like surveillance cameras and video doorbells to monitor the people using those documents. Other things you need to do to enhance the security of physical documents include the following:

• Having professional security guards at the entrance of your buildings
• Ensuring that you install quality door locks
• Limiting access to areas with sensitive data
• Work with a records storage company like Corordata

Digital documents can be accessed from anywhere, which makes them vulnerable to hackers. So, it's critical to consider the following tips to protect your files:

• Back up your files on secure servers
• Use strong passwords and multifactor authentication on your IT systems
• Monitor your servers regularly
• Make sure you're using a secure WIFI connection
• Limit access to important files
• Close tabs that you don't need when sharing your screen
• Be wary of suspicious emails
• Install malware protection and anti-virus
• Don't keep information for long, especially if you don't need it

In addition to following the above tips, you should also properly dispose of old IT equipment by making sure that no confidential business data remains on it. Consider hiring an IT specialist to help wipe the data off or use deletion software.


5. Clean Your Desk

Security is a top concern for a clean desk. Taking a few minutes at the end of each workday to tidy up your desk can help you ensure that sensitive material isn’t left where anyone could find it.

You can also encourage your workers to file and store their papers properly. Moreover, they should turn off and lock up devices not in use—like laptops, external hard drives, or tablets—when they're done with them. Limiting easy access is a viable way to add an extra protective barrier to your documents.


6. Use Your Shredder

It is a good idea to shred papers that you no longer need at least once every month. Some of these documents include and are not limited to the following:

• Expired credit cards
• Credit card offers
• Utility payments

You should also avoid throwing receipts from your transactions in which details like your business name and account numbers appear without shredding them. This is because cybercriminals may take advantage, adversely affecting your business.


7. Formulate Other Policies

Apart from the policies mentioned above, you can also create and share other policies with your employees, which may become best practices for your business. Some of these policies include the following:

• Avoid leaving a document in the printer for someone else to pick it up for you. You should retrieve your document immediately if you share a printer at your organization.  
• It would also be wise to remove archived files from the printer occasionally.
• If you email or scan important documents, ensure your data is encrypted.

Doing so will protect your documents and data from the risk of getting stolen or lost.

How To Keep Your Business Documents Safe (2).png
How To Keep Your Business Documents Safe


Implementing the above tips should have you well on your way to creating extra security barriers for the private information and documents your business handles.

Hiring experts to educate your team on implementing the above strategies would also be best. This will help ensure they're all on the same page about record security expectations and reasons they're important, which will help enhance the safety of your documents and information.