Clean Desk Policy & the Attack on the Capital

It may be Inauguration Day, but few of us can forget the images we saw just two shorts weeks ago when the a large mob stormed the Capital in an attempt to dissuade law makers from certifying the Electoral College votes. There was destruction and violence we hadn’t seen as a Nation in some 200 years. There was also a breach of private documentation that compromised our democracy in a different way. Private information laying around for the rioters to access.  Paperwork, that had there been a clean desk policy in place, may not have been at risk at all.


Instituting A Clean Desk Policy Can Save You from a Breach

As we watched the chaos unfold on January 6th we saw crazed rioters rummage through the Capital damaging the building, looting and gaining access to what appeared to be governmental documentation. Paperwork that undoubtedly contained confidential information. Information that in that moment was not protected.

In light of all the things that went wrong on January 6th we may be wish to ignore the small detail of some printed files and documentation being accessed by intruders. However that would be a mistake. Failure to protect, and when finished destroy, paperwork that contains sensitive information like a name or other identifying factors is illegal and can carry a variety of punishments.

While it’s unlikely that an angry mob will storm into your office and steal your sensitive documents; protecting physical paperwork is your obligation. Leaving documents or files on a desk when you aren’t present opens you up for problems. If paperwork you fail to safeguard falls into the wrong hands and gets traced back to you there are a number of ramifications including being fined and or losing valuable clients. Whether you’ve got a rogue employee, someone up to no good on your janitorial staff, or simply a curious visitor at your office; leaving paper documents laying around when you are not present is a recipe for disaster.

Outline an easy-to-follow process. You and your team will get in the habit of keeping paper documents secure and disposing of the ones you no longer need in locked containers destined for shredding. Below are four tips on how to proactively avoid a physical data breach:

  • Shred sensitive documents you no longer need. Click here to find a convenient shredding service that works best for you.
  • Start at the top; management should lead by example if they want their team to comply.
  • Have lockable storage for paper documents as an added layer of protection.
  • Display daily reminders to tidy up before leaving the office.

There are many ways to implement a clean desk policy in your office. Keep your desk paper free when you are not present and you will significantly reduce the chances of a physical data breach. To learn more call 402.204.0054  or email us today.


Start protecting your documents and data now.