- About Us
- Our Services
- Service Areas
Protecting Your Company – How Safe Is Your Information?
You’ve seen the news stories about companies losing thousands of clients personal information – email logins, passwords, etc. For example, the Yahoo hack that’s been going on for the past several years. This happened when someone hacked their information system and was then able to gain access to sensitive, personal information. They are working to protect their clients but it has been a huge issue for those in the Yahoo mail world.
Consider your business or company. Your company’s life blood is the clients you serve and the information your servers, and your employees, have access to. How secure is your information? How secure is your client’s information or your recipes/methods for doing business, etc.? These are all facets of your company that you should know are secure and that you can pinpoint the loopholes where information is potentially vulnerable. Take a few minutes to learn what can happen to your company without proper safety measures, and learn how you can help prevent disaster such as the recent hacks.
Consider this example for a few moments. You have a very technical savvy person in your office that has become disgruntled because of something that has gone on in the workplace. Perhaps they were disciplined for something that was done or maybe they didn’t get the bonus they feltthey should have received. Either way, they are upset with the company and want to get even.
Did you know that a tech savvy employee and a USB thumb drive could totally devastate your business? All it takes is for them to download personal client information on to the drive and they walk out with everything that makes your business what it is. That could be a huge client breach and cost you large amounts of money if the information is leaked or even given to your competitors.
If your security systems in place are not what they should be, your employees that know how to work around the firewalls could also find out personal information from other employees. They may locate the personnel files of your employees, find out their salary or their personal information. Your employee could have information to others social security numbers, date of birth, address, and other confidential information. This could lead to identity theft starting right in your own company.
Another area that would be vulnerable is your company’s confidential information such as formulas used for your products, recipes, or even the data on upcoming patents your company is trying to receive. This could cause someone else to use your information before you can and thus take your company down. All of this is scary to consider but it is something that you as the owner or president of your company have to think about.
Ways to Protect Your Company and Your Clients
There are several ways you can consider to help prevent this from happening to your company, clients, or employees. Consider your security measures in place. Do you have a written protocol that every employee is to follow with confidential data? What about the notes they write while on phone calls that may contain personal information? What is the process for handling files and papers that are no longer needed but have vital information? How old is the plan you have in place?
By having a plan set in place, all employees updated on procedures, and tackling the vulnerable spots below, you can help to protect everyone in your company and reduce the security risks.
Here are a few spots you need to consider when updating your security plan:
- Trash cans – Each trash can in your office is a hole where information can be seeped from. The employees in your company need to know what is okay to throw in the trashcans and what needs to be shredded or disposed of differently. Be sure that everyone is informed on the procedures and check to make sure they are being followed routinely.
- Dumpsters – If your employees are not following the safety and security protocols in place, this is a high point of vulnerability. Dumpster divers can go through your trash at night or on weekends and find out vital information from your clients or even yourself. They can find passwords, scraps of personal data, and even client information that should never have been thrown away.
- USB Ports – Your computer systems have USB ports and this is a very vulnerable location. The information can be downloaded and taken out of the office, or someone could upload a virus into the system itself. This is an area where protection is a must.
Becoming aware of these security holes can help you to better safeguard your office. While you’d like to believe your employees are all honest, in reality it is not true. Some employees can become disgruntled or feel as if they sell off the information they can get the money they feel they deserve.
Be sure to go over your safety protocols on a regular basis and ensure they are being followed. Talk with your employees on a scheduled basis to make sure that any questions are covered and that everyone is on the same page. Routinely update your protocols with better options as they become available and make sure that every desk area has a shred box nearby to keep those valuable pieces of materials protected.
Evaluate the risks your office has and work on a plan that fits your business needs. While you can’t stop all fraud activity that may take place, you can put in preventative measures to reduce the risks and stop as much as possible.
Contact us today to book a time for a free consultation and let us show you how we can save you time, money, and labor.
When it comes to running a productive office, you may feel as if you’ve got it down. However, in most cases there are some areas where your office could improve. Are you truly as productive as you feel you could and should be? How are the organization skills of those in the office? Have you thought of ways you would like to improve or are you looking for key ideas to help you make the office run more smoothly?
There are many ways you can help your office increase productivity while making sure everything runs like a well-oiled machine. Keeping tips such as the following in mind will help you keep your office organized.
Label Everything Correctly
If you store your items in a box, make sure that the boxes are labeled on the front of the box. Be sure to keep as much information in plain site as you can to help others know exactly what should be in each box. Label them with the departments, when necessary, so each department also recognizes where items should be. Be sure that you’re labeling each box on the front rather than the side or the lid of the box. This helps each person easily see what’s in the storage container in a quick manner. This prevents having to dig through the boxes if another one is on top of it or beside it. Keep everything in plain sight so that each person that comes through knows exactly what is in it.
The folders that go into the box should also be carefully labeled. Come up with a filing system that is easy to understand for the whole office and keep to it. Be sure that everyone who is in charge of filing folders back understands the system. This makes it easy to quickly find the file you need or replace it when you’re finished.
Don’t Let Files Lay Around
One of the most common ways that files get misplaced or your desk gets cluttered up is by allowing files you’re finished with to stick around. If you’re completed with the file you have, be sure to send it back to storage or take it back where it belongs yourself. Either way you need to make sure that files are not kept around in your office more than they are needed. Someone else may need the file as well and if it’s on your desk, they won’t be able to find it in the storage unit. They would then be on a mission to find the missing file and it will slow down productivity. Be sure you put files back as soon as possible once you’ve completed the job at hand.
Keep All Papers Together
If you’re working on a particular file, be sure that everything stays in that folder until you’re ready to store it away again. Papers getting misplaced while in transit or while someone is working can cause your productivity to be very slow. Be sure that you do not keep papers separate from the file on your desk. Use the paper and then place it back in the file until you’re ready to send the whole file back to storage.
Know the Required Length of Storage
Depending on the line of work you’re in, there is a requirement for length of time that you must keep files on hand. Some files are to be kept a few years and others may be needed up to seven or even ten years down the road. Be sure that you keep the entire office updated on the record storage requirements so that everyone is on the same page. Once the time limit is up for the keeping of the file, you can then follow the next tip which is put your shredding service to good use.
Use Your Shred Service
Be sure your office is aware of the time requirements before shredding documents but be sure to use your shredding service company. They can help you to remove documents safely and securely without cluttering up your office or storage space. They are professional and will handle the job with the privacy and security that is required when handling confidential documents.
Have Regular Cleaning Out Days
Consider scheduling a monthly cleanup. Go through your office document storage area and clear out the files that can be shredded. This will help to cut down on the clutter and back log of your storage unit. Have a designated employee that goes through once a month to make sure that the files that can be done away with are shredded and handled properly.
Create a Plan
One of the most important things you can do to help your office productivity is create a written plan for everyone to use. This will keep everyone on the same page in the office so they are all aware of the storage and filing procedures. Make sure you include items such as how you want files or storage boxes labeled, the legal requirement for length files should be kept, and what the shredding procedures to be followed are. Make sure that if you’ve previously had a plan in place that it is updated on a regular basis. Also, be sure that everyone has a copy of it and that someone checks periodically to see if everyone is following the process. This will help the employees to all know what is expected of them as they are handling confidential files.
Keeping the productivity in your office running smoothly is as simple as having a plan in place and following that plan. This will help everyone to be in the same mind frame when it comes to storage of files and how they should be handled.
If you need help getting a plan in place, contact us today and ask for a free consultation. Let us show you how we can save you time, money, and labor.
When it comes to running your business, you may have the tried and true method of storing all your information in paper format. This could include invoices for sales, receipts for services, and even employment and customer records. However, on the new technology forefront, many businesses are running to the Cloud to store all their data in one place. While this is the newest and latest trend in data storage, is it really the best solution for all businesses? Let’s discover a few items that need to be carefully considered before moving from all paper storage to an all Cloud office. Keep these ideas in mind as you contemplate the switch over.
Cost of Paper vs. Cloud
One of the main things to consider when you’re thinking of converting is the cost it will result in for your business. When it comes to moving your files to the Cloud, you can expect a large price tag every year. The file movement can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year to move over your large number of files that must be uploaded.
One of the larger costs involved is with the network bandwidth needed to store your files on the Cloud. Also, you should expect to pay fees for uploading or downloading your information as well. In most cases the company is offsite that handles all this information but you’ll still have to pay for labor costs as well. You also need to calculate costs of long-term storage. This is something you’ll be paying for every single month that your information is being stored on the Cloud. All of these costs can add up quite quickly when it comes to moving from paper to the data storage methods on the Cloud. Plus, when it comes to data information, that will also have to be uploaded into the system.
You will also have to consider the cost of upgrading your entire system. If your current computer and tech system cannot handle the load that the Cloud will put on it, it has to be upgraded to one that can. You’ll also have to consider that the more users you have for the system, the more licenses you have to acquire as well. Your programs will also have to have updates as the operating systems publish upgrades to the Cloud. This is another area of potential problem.
Instability of the Cloud
Another factor to consider is when you are doing an upgrade on the system from the Cloud, will you lose your past data? If there were files uploaded in an earlier version of the system, will this cause you to be unable to retrieve that file? Also, what if the Cloud itself goes down due to a bug in the system? When this happens then all your files are unavailable to you which can cause major problems when running your business. Consider this scenario. A few months ago, some type of virus or problem snuck into your programming system. It is now four or five months later and you just discovered the issue. Can you go back and fix what has happened over those several months or are your files lost?
Another aspect of moving over to this method of storing data is making sure your office has someone who can handle the technical side of this process. You’ll need someone who is trained in managing, uploading and downloading content, and making sure that the Cloud is functioning as it should. This could be another added cost to your budget each year depending on whether or not you have to hire a new employee just for this process.
When it comes to data storage, there are also laws regulating the storage of personal and confidential information. Your employee responsible for this process will also have to be someone who knows what regulations are in place and will have to continually keep updated on the new processes passed down.
Benefits of Staying with Paper Filing
While technology is advancing every day and the Cloud can be a great option for some, paper filing has and always will be a great way to store your data. You do not ever have to worry about the files being corrupted after you’ve printed them or losing them in the Cloud anywhere. You do not have the concern of the paper needing to be upgraded or a virus stealing the information of your clients.
Paper storage can be done offsite or onsite making it easy to access the files whenever you need to. Consider the fact of an audit on your business. Would you have to print out all the files from the Cloud storage for your auditors to look at or would it be easier to just grab the files they have requested? If you have to give the auditor access to your Cloud files, they may have access to much more than they should have access to. More access offers the ability to have more complications and issues with your audit.
What Route Should You Take?
There really are benefits and disadvantages to both the Cloud storage and paper storage. Keeping your files on paper means you have to find a physical place to store them all and keep them for a certain period of time. If you have them on the Cloud then you run into the extra cost of having to upgrade your systems, pay someone who knows what to do with the storage itself, and pay to have the storage itself. The best option would be scan on demand. When you need a paper file, scan it as you need it. Then your costs are lowered via services and labor for your non- accessed storage
Typically, when it comes to storing your business files the best route to go would be a mixture of both the Cloud and paper storage. Stick to the adage of not keeping all of your eggs in one basket. It will make it easier to access some of your files but also reduce the added cost of Cloud storage and upgrades on equipment. Keeping balance is always recommended and the storing of your files for your business is no different.
Questions? Please click to our contact page:
Contact us today and ask for a free consultation. Let us show you how we can save you time, money, and labor.