Here’s Why Your Organization Should Have A Clean Desk Policy

We talk quite a lot about data security, theft and fraud. This is largely because they are very real risks for just about everyone; especially those who least expect to be victims. The damages that can arise from data or identity theft can be devastating, and the reality is that no one is completely absolved of risk of becoming a victim.

One of the most effective tools used in many different workplaces to improve data security and reduce the risk of becoming a victim is known as a clean desk policy. Applied in workplaces of varying different industries across the country, the clean desk policy is something any business should consider in order to protect sensitive data and improve overall organization in the process.

What Is a Clean Desk Policy?

The general idea of a clean desk policy is that before employees leave their workplace for the day, their desks are to be completely cleared of any documents. This can include general papers; post-it notes or storage media devices such as external hard drives and USB sticks.

Why Implement This Policy?

Clean Desk Policies come with many benefits;

  • Less time searching for information. This might not make sense at first, but the reality is that because Clean Desk Policies force employees to keep an organized cabinet and archive, less time tends to be spent searching for information since information is well organized.
  • Improve data security. This one has already been mentioned a few times! The Clean Desk Policy improves data security by ensuring that no documents containing sensitive information are left out in the open to be inadvertently viewed or stolen by any passerby’s. This is especially true in workplaces with high foot traffic from people outside of the organization.
  • Reduce employee stress. When employees know where data can be found, there is much less stress generated when trying to find certain documents.

Clean Desk Policies bring many direct and indirect benefits. When looking through the effects and results, it’s no wonder why the Clean Desk Policy is growing in popularity.

Tips for Implementation

A policy is only as effective as the clarity of the communication of the policy. That is, in order for a policy to truly be effective, it must be communicated to employees clearly and thoroughly. If employees don’t understand the policy, or the importance of it, they are less likely to abide by it. Some things you can do to make sure your communication is clear is:

  • Put it in writing
  • Make sure it is detailed, but not so detailed as to cause confusion
  • Use precise and simple language
  • Highlight the importance of the policy, both internally and legally (if applicable)
  • Add a reminder of the policy to email signatures

When the policy is implemented, it is a good idea to test that is working. Take random checks to test the integrity of the policy and conduct an internal assessment to see whether the policy is producing the intended results (in this case, cleaner desktops and a more organized file system).

Make Your Clean Desk Policy Easy with Secure Document Shredding

One way you can make it easier to maintain a Clean desk policy is to implement a shredding program. It can be stressful knowing where to put sensitive documents when you are finished with them; especially when under the condition that they must be put somewhere than on your desk. Placing them in an open recycling bin leaves them in a vulnerable place where they can still be easily found and collected by unauthorized persons.

Professional shredding services from Shred-A-Way can help make sure that your clean desk policy is easy to maintain and effective. We can provide your workplace with locked security containers for documents to be placed in until shredding time arrives; meaning that they are protected and secured right from the point of disposal.

Talk to us today to learn more about our various shredding services!

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