Although technological advances have eliminated some of the most tedious physical tasks involved in storing and handling information, protecting sensitive documents is a critical part of a company’s security plan. It is crucial to secure documents, whether in digital or hard copy form to prevent unauthorized access. This will limit the damage that the data breach could cause.

The most common way to protect files is with password protection. This makes the file jumble of numbers and letters to anyone who doesn’t have a encryption key, however it allows modifications to be made once the password is entered. This is particularly helpful when files are regularly altered by multiple people, for example, surveys, forms or reports.

A rights management tool can be used to restrict editing printing, editing and downloads. This can be especially helpful when files are shared with freelancers, contractors and third-party companies, where it’s difficult to control who has access to documents.

It is also essential to reinforce your security guidelines and communicate them internally when handling sensitive documents. Make sure your employees understand that adherence to these guidelines isn’t just an obligation, but also an essential part of their job. Create a process to ensure that employees who quit or move to another department do not have access to sensitive data. This includes removing passwords and collecting ID cards or access keys, and deleting documents after they no longer needed.