Whether you are a small mom or pop retail operation, a large, international corporation, or an organization with enhanced needs to protect information from clients or members, SECURITY is a top concern. It’s hard to believe that when the cloud started years ago, there was a cavalier approach to storing valuable data. With each announcement of new hacks, concerns mount, and additional measures are created to counter unauthorized viewing. Today, most of us are aware of security measures that can be added to computers. We know not to open certain emails, and we are cognizant about when and where to post (or not to post) critical personal or business information, including credit card numbers.

Information exists in many places inside a business. Computer information can be secured in a variety of ways from Windows directory access to sophisticated software packages. Copiers can limit users to only be able to scan to themselves. This helps limit ways electronic data can leave the business. There is even software out there which can read every scanned or copied page and create alerts to management, if needed. Most copiers have some type of disk overwrite standard. Make sure it is enabled. Some copiers have optional removable hard drives which can be locked up when not in use.

There are other things you might not have considered. When replacing your new computers, what happens to the old ones? More importantly, what happens to the INFORMATION on the old ones? There are a couple of options other than the hammer. Hard drive punches make holes in the computer’s hard drive, which makes it just about impossible to forensically recover information that existed on that computer. Some of our clients are now using degaussers, which use a powerful magnet to wipe clean hard drives, diskettes, reels, cassettes, and cartridge tapes. When exposed to the powerful magnetic field of a degausser, the magnetic data on a tape or hard disk is erased. Because degaussing is the guaranteed form of hard drive erasure, it serves as the standard method of data destruction.
What about paper? We are all familiar with shredding. Businesses have the option of hiring outside companies to shred onsite with some even providing a certificate of destruction. Many of our companies prefer to keep the shredding activities in house with the comfort of knowing that whatever documents they have never leave the office. Shredders to accommodate in house use can be as simple as a desktop variety or as complex as ones with conveyer belts. One customer even had to re-wire his shredding room to provide enough voltage for its support.

Whatever defenses you take to keep confidential the records of your business and its clients, make the process comprehensive. Most of all, instill a corporate philosophy of protecting the rights of your company and its customers.