How Do You Handle Confidential Information?
When handling confidential information, care should be taken to dispose of stored documents appropriately, restrict access to fax machines and secure data, and follow established privacy policies, according to the Privacy Rights Clearing House. Every effort should be made to maintain strict privacy and prevent any unauthorized access.
Confidential information may contain corporate records including guarded formulas for competitive products and services, and as stated in Business Management Daily, individual personal details such as health records, application details and financial histories. It is necessary to protect such sensitive information to avoid the embarrassment, loss of trust and vulnerability to legal action resulting from compromised information.
According to the Globe and Mail, a company's confidential operational records are also its assets and should be protected as such. It is recommended that businesses label all electronic and hard copy forms of confidential information as a clear reminder of the data's sensitive nature and as a foundation for legal protection. Companies should also make nondisclosure agreements a condition of employment and should conduct counselling for departing employees to prevent the loss of trade secrets or other vital material. On-site visitors and potential business partners present another potential point of compromise, so they should be signed for confidentiality and given limited access.