Working from home - Protecting documents and files

 

A lot of legally protected and confidential documents are in workers' homes these days. Some are printed and some have been brought in from the office. If any of these documents gets in the wrong hands, it could cause a lot of grief for the user and the organization. It's important that home workers know how to protect and dispose of all data properly.

For hard-copy documents, a paper shredder will do. Spend enough on the shredder so that it leaves documents unrecoverable. Cheaper shredders cut in a manner which is easy to recreate the original document. Note that storing paper documents until they can be brought into the office's shred boxes requires them to be kept secured and inventoried in case they are lost or stolen.

Digital files are a different story. When you delete a file on a computer it isn't completely gone. Someone with enough knowledge can use data recovery tools to restore files you thought were deleted. Luckily, there are file shredders for computers. When a file is deleted using one of these utilities, it performs a series of actions which pretty much makes the file unrecoverable. Alternatively, if workers have encryption software on their computer, they can encrypt the files and then delete them which makes them unrecoverable without the decryption key.

Companies need to ensure remote workers have the understanding, training, tools and support they need to work securely with sensitive information.

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About the Author

Michael A. AliceaMichael has more than 20 years working with a wide range of business technologies and creatively implementing their use into regulated environments. See full bio here.

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All services provided under the direction of a Certified Chief Information Security Officer (C|CISO) and a Certified HIPAA Compliance Officer (CHCO).