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Have You Heard About the Clean Desk Policy?

If you’ve been following our blog, you might notice that we talk quite a bit about data security, theft and fraud. The main (and unfortunate) reason for this is that the risks of these happening is very real and significant for just about everyone. Even worse, this can be especially true for those who least expect to be victims. Businesses and consumers need to be aware of the potential damages that can arise from these events, as well as ways they can mitigate their risk of becoming victims.

Over time, many workplaces have adopted different policies aimed specifically at reducing the risk of letting information leak into unauthorized hands. While many organizations have unique and specific policies, the clean desk policy is a more universal and well-known policy that has made its way through businesses across the United States. The benefits of this policy can be outstanding for businesses that manage to effectively implement them.

What exactly is the “Clean Desk Policy?”

Put simply; a clean desk policy is a policy that requires the desks and computer monitors of employees to be completely void of paper notes or documents, or electronic files before leaving for the day. The main idea is that by requiring employees to put away any and all documents, the information on them is more likely to be secured, and employees are naturally encouraged to adopt organized systems for storing their data.

What Can it do for My Workplace?

Clean desk policies have the potential to bring about many benefits for the state of your workplace:

  • It can improve data security. This is a key purpose of this policy. By requiring any and all documents to be stored out of site when the office is empty, there is less of a risk of sensitive information being exposed to unauthorized eyes or hands.
  • It can reduce employee stress. One of the most effective ways to reduce stress at work is to maintain an organized file system where information can be recalled easily. Having a clean desk policy encourages everyone to pay more attention to where information is kept; making it easier to find information when it is needed.
  • Employees tend to spend less time searching for information. When employees know where information is located, there is less time needed to search for that information.

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 clean desk policy has the potential to improve the security of your data substantially. However, this is only possible if the policy criteria and implementation is properly communicated to your workplace. Some of the ways you can ensure proper communication include:

  • 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

After successful implementation, it is wise to stress test the policy and assess the results to see whether the policy is being practiced and is having any meaningful effect. Workplaces are unique in many ways and it may be necessary to tailor your policy to fit the needs and expectations of your workplace.

Make Your Clean Desk Policy Easy with Secure Document Shredding

One of the most common places that documents are found in workplaces with a clean desk policy is in the recycling bin. While many documents are often duplicate copies that are no longer needed, simply tossing documents in the recycling bin undoes many of the security benefits that come with the clean desk policy! Why? Documents are highly vulnerable to theft when they are left in-tact in a standard recycling bin.

Make sure your documents are disposed of securely with secure shredding services from Secure Shredding NJ. Talk to us today to find out more about our services, and to put together a solution that fits the needs and budget of your workplace!

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