Written by Erica Schofield, working with tips from our Compliance@opennetworks.com team, with guidance from Barbara Kettner Compliance team member, and External Product Team Lead
Much of the focus around POPI is often about Cybersecurity and the safety of your data online. While vitally important, the risk of data-loss or data-leaks in the physical space can sometimes be overlooked. With the festive season, and holidays coming up, it might be a handy time to review some aspects in your work environment from this point of view, and grab the chance to literally “clear your desk” for full peace of mind during the break.
Password lock, close and turn off all devices
Take a quick look around, are there any applications left open on a device for quick convenience? Turn them off, put them away
Keep an eye on your devices at all times, in public
When you are out and about, keep your phone and devices on you and make sure you have a screen lock (Company security aside, some of us have might those friends who think it’s hilarious to post unique-and-unusual items on your Facebook page…)
It is a different world: these we’d even advise you don’t share your device with a family member or friend, if that device has access to work information.
A quick word on passwords
You have 2-step set up on important accounts which contain personal or company data, right..? Email, Banking, document storage are examples where 2 step verification is an essential layer of security.
And you have taken down that useful and yet insecure Post IT note with all your passwords on, yes? And torn it up (consider using a password manager tool instead)
Where are your physical documents?
Cast an eye around your workspace again, are there paper documents visible or easily accessible? Could you scan and store them online, and shred the paper? Or perhaps simply make sure that they have been put away in the filing cabinet in a locked room.
If you need to hand something over to a colleague – make sure you give it to them personally, rather than leaving it for them to find – someone else may find it too!
Clear your work area
It can be surprising how innocently useful documents can in fact hold a fair amount of information, that you and your company would rather not be shared. Like that scratchpad sitting next to the phone. If you’re working from home can you find a secure, lockable cupboard to store work papers in?
When all devices are off (maybe take the moment to update any anti-virus software before turning them off) and papers tidied away – dust your desk, wipe down that whiteboard, switch on the alarm, lock the doors and enjoy your break!