Despite our technological advances, many businesses still have trouble implementing the right record management protocols and effectively protecting business data.
How else could we explain that 46% of employees have trouble finding the right documents, while hackers (apparently) have no issues with stealing your business data? In short, businesses have been falling into numerous mistakes with record management. But, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Read on for our full breakdown of the key seven mistakes that you can easily avoid for better record management. After all, there’s no reason for making it easier for malicious parties to steal your sensitive information.
1. The Crowned Jewel Among Mistakes With Record Management: Improper File Disposition
There’s a proper way to get rid of your unwanted documents, and it’s not by throwing them in the trash.
Pop culture has made us rather hyperaware of the intricacies of cybersecurity. But, you’d be surprised by how many firms can get hacked “offline” through a simple check of their garbage.
After all, hackers can easily be insiders who have access to your old receipts and documents. Just because you’ve thrown your documents away, doesn’t mean that they’ve been properly disposed of.
The best protocol you can take when it comes to getting rid of unwanted papers or files is to give the professional shredders a call. These are services that come with giant shredding machines that can thoroughly destroy any of your data.
Most of them will gladly send you shredding certificates. These will confirm that your disposition has taken place. Take some time researching the appropriate shredding firm for your needs, and set up a contract with them as soon as possible.
Also, you’ll want to have a registered agent on hand to stay in compliance with your state’s regulations. You can read more on registered agents here.
2. Leaving Your Files in-House
Similar to improper disposition, you don’t want to keep your files in-house. Of course, if you’re a startup or a small business that’s still building its base of operations, then storing your files in-house might be your only option.
But, if you have a growing business with an ever-growing mound of files and papers, you’ll want to start exploring alternative ways of storing your files. As more files occupy every shelve and horizontal surface, you’ll want to figure out a comprehensive way to access your information without making it too easy for unauthorized access to creep in.
If you’re drowning under the bulk of your files and documents, you’ll want to invest in a storage unit for your files. Of course, if you can digitize your files, then that would be even better in terms of security and space limitations.
3. Failing to Index Your Files
Once you have your storage space or unit on hand, you can’t simply through all of your files without any form of indexing or organizational method.
After all, the main reason why you got a storage unit in the first place is to avoid wasting time searching for the right files. You’ll want to actually solve the problem by properly indexing and labeling your folders and files.
Depending on your organizational preferences, you can label and store your documents according to their departments of concern, or their actual content. If you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed, remember that you can always reach out to professional indexing and organizational experts.
4. Insufficient Training For Employees
You don’t want to place high expectations on your employees without providing sufficient training and knowledge.
This is the general rule when it comes to expecting your employees to follow concrete cybersecurity protocols and other data protection methods, without giving them the right training.
Whether you want to outsource the training materials or have your IT department run the entire thing, it’s essential to keep your security training fresh and always up-to-date.
Sure, it might cost you a little at the beginning. However, we can assure you that the money you’ll pay to better educate your employees will be much less in comparison to the financial damage that can happen in the aftermath of a data breach.
5. Ignoring Data Backup Protocols
Whether you’ve fully digitized your records or you have physical records, you’ll want to put in some solid data backup protocols.
Needless to say, for digital records, the process can be much easier to implement. All you need to do is create a data backup using cloud storage. For physical records, it’s definitely time to (at least) create a digitized version as a backup.
Last we checked, fires and floods are still a business concern that could destroy your record-keeping system in a single night.
6. Poor Data Transfer Methods
Speaking of creating digital backups, have you assessed your data transfer methods lately?
Anytime you’re transferring data from point A to point B, you should always be aware of the increased risk of data leakage in transition. A simple example of that case would be using Bluetooth to send text or data. Anyone who’s connected to the device via Bluetooth can easily access your information.
This is where researching proper transfer methods comes in. You’ll want to look at the security protocols of your transfer methods, and use the ones that expose your data to less risk, as it makes its way from the sender to the recipient.
7. Unaware of Regulations and Compliance
Being caught unaware of your state’s regulations and rules covering your physical and digital storage of records won’t save you from legal liabilities.
It’s not only financially costly, but it can also easily ruin your business’ reputation. Therefore, make sure you’re familiar with all the rules governing the way you store and keep your records.
Managing Legal Documents With Grace
The moment documents and record management come up in conversations, people tune out of either boredom or anxiety.
You don’t have to figure out your record management protocols or even hire a record management team on your own. You can always reach out to professionals in the field for advice. Hopefully, our breakdown of the main seven mistakes with record management has shed some light on any mistakes that you’ve been making.
And, if you’ve enjoyed reading our article, make sure you don’t miss out on our additional tips and strategies, all available to you in our business section.