If your business involves handling sensitive documents, like those that contain legal or financial information or intellectual property, you have a responsibility to keep those documents as safe and secure as you possibly can.

You clients rely on your ability to protect their data, and failing to do so can seriously damage your business’s reputation in your community. That means that you need to be aware of the best ways to protect them. Take a look at some of the storage secrets that will help you ensure that you’re providing your clients with the best security possible.

1. Exterior locks

The first thing that you need to do is make sure the building is protected from unauthorised entry. Corporate espionage is not unheard of, and identity thieves have been known to break into offices where they believe sensitive data is stored. Security starts with the exterior locks.

A good, strong deadbolt is low-tech, but it’s also an effective and reliable way to keep people out. Look for ANSI grade 1 locks – this is the most secure grade of commercial lock. You should also ensure that your door is steel-reinforced and in good shape. Even the strongest lock won’t help if the door is weak enough to be kicked in.

2. Interior locks

Chances are good that the employees you’ve hired to handle sensitive documents are carefully screened and understand the importance of using discretion. But what about office janitorial staff or lower level employees? Plus, there’s always the possibility of an intruder finding a way to breach your exterior locks, or even a client wandering through the wrong door.

Interior locks provide an extra layer of security for the doors protecting your sensitive data. For these doors, consider installing electronic locks that require a password or fingerprint to access. This way, not only can you be certain that only authorised people will be able to enter, you can also keep a record of which employees entered the room and when, which will make it easier to trace any potential data leaks to their source.

3. File and cabinet Locks

If you need one more layer of protection, you may want to also consider having file and cabinet locks installed. Typically, these locks are key-based, so you should make sure that only the most trusted employees are given keys, and you may need to change the locks when employees entrusted with keys quit or are let go.

4. Document destruction

There’s no good reason to hang on to outdated documents that contain sensitive information. Retaining documents that are out of date, sensitive, and that you’re not legally required to keep only creates extra liability for your business in the event of a data breach.

You could look at hiring the help of a  document shredding service who can help you securely get rid of these documents. If you have room on-site, you may want to choose a service that offers mobile, on-site shredding for maximum security. Make sure that the service you choose complies with the applicable environmental laws in your area.

5. Offsite storage

If you need to store large amounts of documents for long periods of time, you may want to consider offsite storage. Make sure to choose a secure document storage service, not just an ordinary commercial storage facility. Some secure storage services will even scan your documents and send them to you digitally, which will save you time and allow you to access needed information.

6. Digitise when possible

Finally, you may want to consider digitising as many of your stored documents as possible. There will always be a need for some paper documents, but in many cases, documents can be stored entirely digitally, without the need to hang onto hard copies.

A good electronic records management service can be more secure than any paper storage with proper encryption practices. Electronic document management can also reduce the risk of lost or misfiled documents, save time on document retrieval, and save floor space in your office.

Proper document management should be a priority for your business. Taking the proper precautions to secure your client data can earn you the reputation for trustworthiness that you need to succeed.