Most of our day-to-day business exists in the digital world. And the data flowing through our networks, the life blood of our organizations, needs to be secured and protected. But not all information is digital. Sensitive, private, and confidential information often ends up, at some point, in printed form. And in the wrong hands, that information can be as damaging to your organization as a hacker.

Workplace Privacy Policies are an excellent, first step in extending your information security practices to protect real-world data. Here’s how to get started: 

1. Identify all potential risks.

There are several risks that may threaten the information security of your organization including customer, business, and employee information. It is critical to determine what these risks are, so you are aware of what needs protection.

2. Workflow analysis

Examine document workflow and lifecycle for electronic and paper documents. By understanding the process each document goes through, you will be able to discover areas of risk and better protect your confidential information at the source.

3. Implement workplace privacy policies designed to protect sensitive data on paper documents.

By identifying the key issues from the first two steps, you can then develop workplace privacy policies that are compliant with national identity theft and privacy legislation.

Human error is among one of the most common sources of an information breach. The three most common document security policies are designed to remove or reduce the likelihood of that happening.

Document Management Policy – this handy ebook outlines how employees should safeguard documents, from creation to destruction

Clean Desk Policy – gives employees an easy-to-follow protocol for managing their workspace and keeping confidential documents secure

Shred-it® All Policy – takes the guess work out of document management. With this policy employees don’t need to choose between the trash can and the recycling bin: everything goes into secure, tamper-proof containers

You don’t always have to start from scratch with privacy policies. There are reputable, document destruction companies that include workplace privacy policies as part of their regular services. And with policies like these in place, in addition to ongoing training and support from senior leadership, you will create an organizational culture that demonstrates it values and respects confidentiality and privacy. And in the process, your employees become important components of your information security program.