Tuesday, June 25, 2024

8 Things Lying Around Your Office That Could Be a Security Risk

Whether your company employs hundreds of staff or a few loyal workers, security is always a top concern for protecting your information and belongings. Many businesses concentrate solely on cybersecurity these days, but there are other things that can compromise your privacy and security— and that of your clients or customers.

We’ve compiled a list of eight things that often get forgotten when considering security at work.

  1. Wallets

This almost goes without saying, but is still worth the mention. Your wallet contains a lot more than cash. Items such as an ID, driver’s licence, access card, credit or debit cards, travel cards and business cards are just as important as banknotes.

While it’s always a pain to lose money, it’s far more difficult to go through the process of blocking bank cards or replacing your driver’s licence. You might think that your office is a safe place and that leaving your wallet out in the open doesn’t pose any risk. It’s important to remember that your workplace is not your home. You can’t be 100% sure that everyone who walks past your desk is trustworthy.

Losing membership cards or business cards doesn’t sound so terrible, but in the context of protecting your privacy, it’s not something you want to experience. Identity theft is a serious issue and more common than you might think. A fraudster doesn’t need a vast amount of information to commit identity theft. You can be compromised just by leaving your name and address out in the open.

  1. Unlocked devices

The great thing about technology is that it bypasses the need for copious amounts of paperwork. You can now keep reams of information stored securely on a smartphone or laptop without having to organise stacks of paper.

The flip side to this is that once someone gets into your device, they have access to everything on it. This is why it’s vital to keep all devices locked. Phones, laptops and tablets should all require a PIN or password to gain access. If you don’t have a password then facial, fingerprint or voice recognition is a must.

  1. Passwords

Just like you shouldn’t leave your wallet lying around, you should never write down your passwords or PIN codes. Unless you’re going to stow them away in a very secure hiding place. It doesn’t matter what the password is for—Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, or your online banking platform—you should never be careless with information that could grant access to very private information.

  1. USB devices

People often use USB sticks to back up information on their PCs or laptops. Many USB devices aren’t encrypted, meaning that anyone who picks one up can access everything on it when they plug it into their PC or laptop. USBs are also handy when transferring information from one person to another, which can make it even easier for it to get into the wrong hands inadvertently.

  1. Access cards

These days there are many buildings that open with access cards rather than a physical key. You wouldn’t leave your car keys on top of your car—so don’t leave your access cards lying around where anyone could pick them up.

Access cards could play an important part in keeping information confidential by only admitting certain personnel to different parts of the building. A stolen access card could mean that a complete stranger can enter private areas raising no alarm bells. If someone can open a door with no trouble, it’s unlikely anyone will confront them.

  1. Documents (legal and otherwise)

Although business has largely migrated online, hard copies of some documents are necessary—contracts, legal documents or tax records, for example. In the digital age it’s easy to assume that physical paperwork isn’t that important. All too often, documents get tossed in the trash because they’re mistaken for scrap paper. Keeping information confidential is critically important for any business.

A properly bolted down safe is ideal for storing documents, as a small safe kept loose in a drawer or cupboard is just as easy to pick up and walk away with.

  1. Diaries and day planners

This might seem trivial, but it’s risky to allow everyone access to your daily schedule. Day planners can contain details of your personal life and your professional one. It would be easy to deduce when your workspace or home is left unattended, which makes it far easier for people to access private information and private property.

  1. Keys

While access cards are very widely used by companies, there are many things that are still secured under lock and key. Your own home, for example, or your car, or keys to filing cabinets, a safe, or a P.O. Box.

If you spend enough time at the office, it can start to feel like home, but it’s important to remember that it’s not. Apart from being “home” to full-time employees, every workplace is something of a thoroughfare for visiting clients, couriers and business associates. While you might trust those passing through, the effort it takes to put your keys in a pocket or bag is miniscule compared to the inconvenience of having them pinched.

Bonus tip

One sure-fire way to avoid security issues in the office is to treat it as you would any other public place. In your own home it would be perfectly acceptable to leave your car keys on the kitchen table, but if you were in a coffee shop, there’s no way you would get up without taking your keys with you. If you sit on a bench outside during your lunch break, you’re not going to pop into a shop and leave your laptop where you were sitting. It might feel like your office is a safe place, and most times you may be right, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Stolen possessions are replaceable, but when it comes to confidential information, rectifying the situation is not that simple. Maintaining a level of caution is the best way to navigate the office without compromising your security and that of your colleagues and clients.

Meta Title: 8 Security Risks In Your Office |ABC MONEY UK

Meta Description: There are so many things in your office that may pose a security risk. Take a look at eight of the most common that you should never leave lying around.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://www.abcmoney.co.uk
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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