Many employers vulnerable to data breaches

Eighty-one percent of employees can access paper documents revealing sensitive workplace information; however, only 62 percent say their employers train on their data security policies, according to the Fellowes' Workplace Data Security Report. 

These untrained employees could cause a security breach as nearly a quarter of respondents leave sensitive paper documents on top of their desks, the survey finds, and 26 percent of respondents leave their computers unlocked when away from their desks. Another 15 percent of respondents report throwing paper documents containing sensitive information in the trash while only 60 percent of respondents maintain a secure firewall. Fewer than half of respondents at 44 percent ensure their mail is safe by sending it through a secure mailbox.

"Whether electronic or in paper form, confidential information in the workplace is a hot item for theft and the methods employed by criminals to obtain this information are constantly evolving," says John Sileo, national identity theft expert. "With smart prevention measures, you can help your company avoid a costly breach that can lead to personal consequences – like identity theft."   

To protect data, Sileo recommends that employers have employees lock their offices when they leave for the day. This prevents possible breaches afterhours. Employees should also lock their computers with secure passwords including a unique combination of letters and numbers.

Sileo also say employers should have their IT departments check their firewalls to make sure they are secure and current. Employees should also be trained to not leave paper documents on their desks or in common printing areas, and they should store sensitive documents in locked filing cabinets.

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