Five Ways to Keep Your Business Files Safe

All businesses have important files. As the years go by, there are more and more files to keep track of, and keeping track of them all is important.

Keeping track of files used to mean keeping them organized in a filing cabinet, but today, most files are stored on hard drives and on the internet. No matter how you store your files, it is extremely important to keep them safe. That way, important business information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

Keeping track of paper files means locking the filing cabinet and putting documents in a paper shredder when they are ready to be discarded, but how do you keep your business files safe in the digital age?

Use a Digital Rights Management Program

There are many aspects of a file you have to consider. You have to think about how each file is used, edited, and copied. You also have to decide if it’s a document that can be printed. When security is an issue, all of those seemingly easy decisions suddenly become difficult.

Make things simpler with a secure digital rights management program. These kinds of programs make it easy for you to decide exactly how documents are going to be used, and they can ensure you stay compliant. They even enable you to track information, like how many times a document is opened, so you can discover insights that will enable you to improve efficiency.

Store Files in Multiple Locations

Paper files are relatively easy to keep track of. With an organized filing system, it’s unlikely that anything will get lost. The only way files can really be compromised is due to fire, flood, or theft.

Digital files are a little trickier. A systems crash can mean you lose all of your data, in addition to the physical threats listed above. Make sure nothing like that happens by storing your files in multiple locations. That includes:

* Backing up your files, so a virus doesn’t eliminate your information and systems

* Storing important documents on an external hard drive, so it isn’t affected by a computer crash

* Storing files in the cloud for easy retrieval during disaster recovery

Shred Digital Documents

If it’s time to get rid of a paper document, you put it in the shredder. If you want to get rid of a digital document, you might put it in the trashcan on your desktop, but does that really make the document go away?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Not only do you need to shred paper files, so too do you need to shred digital documents. There are many shredding software options to choose from. Just make sure you absolutely don’t need the file before you shred it digitally. Just as is the case with paper files, once a digital file has been shredded, there’s no getting it back!

Control Access to Files

Controlling access to your files is extremely important. It’s not a good idea to allow everyone in the company access to every file. Instead, only certain files should be accessed by certain people.

Programs, like the digital right software mentioned above, can help you decide who has access to what, but it doesn’t stop with the files on your computer.

Mobile security is extremely important. Just because an employee has access to sensitive files in the office doesn’t mean they should have access to those files on their mobile devices.

Controlling access means limiting what can be done on a mobile device. If mobile is essential to your business, consider only allowing access to certain files on company-provided devices with the proper security.

Encrypt Your Data

No matter what kind of files you have, or where they are stored, you should always encrypt your data. With encryption, information is scrambled so outsiders can’t see it. You can encrypt your entire hard drive, which is relatively easy to do with standard computer programs. However, with specialized programs, you can also encrypt specific files, and you can even encrypt your email, if you regularly send and receive sensitive company information. You should also encrypt backup files, like external drives and thumb drives.

Keeping files safe in the digital age is just as important as keeping traditional paper files safe. Unfortunately, it’s a bit more complex than just locking the filing cabinet. With these tips, you’ll never have to worry about losing important information, you can control who sees what, and you’ll sleep easier at night knowing your data is protected.

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