The Importance of Maintaining a Clear Desk or Workspace
The Importance of Maintaining a Clear Workspace
Information must be protected from unauthorized access at all times, both inside and outside the office. Information left lying around on your desk or in your workspace can be accessed by anyone who happens to be passing by.
Maintaining a clear desk or workspace is important to help ensure sensitive information is not physically exposed when you are at your desk, when you leave your desk unattended during the day, or when you leave at night.
Follow the guidance outlined below to help maintain a clear desk or workspace.
- Do not leave sensitive papers or documents lying around on your desk for others to view.
- Ensure they are securely locked in a drawer or cabinet when not being used.
- Never throw sensitive information in the trash, as information is commonly leaked this way through ‘dumpster diving’.
- Ensure all paper based information is securely disposed of (i.e. shredded).
- Do not write down usernames, passwords or any other sensitive account information on paper or post-it notes and post in your workspace for others to view.
- Commit this information to memory, or ensure this information is locked away and out of sight at all times
- You must protect your computer when leaving your desk or workspace; otherwise anyone will be able to access your computer, the information stored on it and your email.
- Always lock your computer when leaving, even if it is only for a short while. This can easily be done in Windows by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, then hitting Enter.
Removable Storage Media
- Do not leave removable storage media such as CDs, DVDs and USB drives in drive bays, plugged in or lying around for others to take.
- Ensure all removable media is locked away when not in use and that all sensitive information stored on removable media is encrypted.
- Never leave sensitive information behind in shared conference facilities or meeting rooms, so that it is not exposed to anyone using the room after you.
- Remove all information from flipcharts and the room, and wipe down whiteboards. All unneeded paper information should be securely disposed of.
Prints Outs and Copies
- Never leave documents lying around in the copy, printer or fax area, as this is a common way for information to be compromised by others.
- Always collect documents from the printer as soon as you print them and don’t forget to pick up the originals from the copier or fax machine.
- If you must leave a laptop unattended on your desk or in your workspace, it must be physically secured to deter theft.
- Ensure your laptop is secured with a cable lock to something immovable, and that all sensitive information stored on the it is encrypted.
- Never leave valuables lying around to tempt others, as work place theft is common.
- Always take personal or company valuables such as car keys, wallets and money with you when you leave, or lock them away.