Although technological advancements have eliminated many of the tedious physical tasks that are involved in the storage and handling of information, protecting sensitive documents remains an essential element of any security plan. It is vital to secure files, whether they are in digital or hard copy form from an unauthorized access. This will reduce the damage data breaches can cause.

The most widely used method for protecting files is password protection. The file appears as a jumbled mess of numbers and alphabets to anyone without the decryption keys, however, changes can be made by entering the password. This is particularly beneficial for files with multiple users who regularly modify them such as forms, surveys, or reports.

A rights management tool can be used to restrict editing printing, downloading and editing. This is particularly useful for files shared with freelancers and contractors, as well as third-party companies where it may be difficult to control who is allowed access to the files.

It’s also important to reiterate your security guidelines and make them available to employees when dealing with sensitive documents. Make sure your employees understand that adhering these guidelines isn’t just an obligation, but also an essential part of their job. Have a procedure to ensure that employees who quit or transfer to another department don’t have access to sensitive data. This includes removing passwords, obtaining ID cards or access keys, and deleting documents when they’re no longer required.