4 tips for improving document security in the office

Rohan Mathew


Since lockdown, many employees have been working from home. But as the restrictions are easing – and with safety screens, one-way systems and hand sanitising stations in place – increasingly more people are heading back into the office.

Whilst it’s great to have a sense of normality restored, we mustn’t let the most basic security standards slide. After all, businesses that deal with private and confidential information belonging to customers and employees must have strict physical document security policies. Otherwise, they could be faced with a hefty fine and/or a tarnished reputation.

Here we look at four simple – yet effective – things you can do to ensure documents are kept safe in the workplace.

  • Limit access to important documents

Unless you’ve gone paperless, the chances are there will be a lot of documents lying around the office. Keeping these in order – preferably inside a filing cabinet or security safe – is a sensible idea and will ensure that they are kept out of sight of prying eyes.

However, you must make sure that all cabinets and safes are locked. Most safes have a key lock which means you can limit access to a select few individuals who need the documents held inside, but there is also the option to upgrade to an electronic or fingerprint lock.

  • Don’t leave sensitive information on the printer

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of sending something to print and not collecting it immediately. But if you’ve printed a document that includes sensitive information – be it someone’s name, address, contact details or business records – the last thing you want to happen is for someone else to pick it up by mistake.

Something you may or may not know about office printers is that they have a hard drive that saves all print and scan jobs. Therefore, you want to take the time to clear this information and make sure that the hard drive is destroyed completely when you’re upgrading to a new printer.

  • Create policies for how long documents should be kept

Certain laws stipulate how long you need to retain business information. Knowing how long you need to keep a document on file will not only ensure that you comply with stringent regulations but will ensure that you’re not keeping hold of old papers that have exceeded their useful life.

You’ll likely need to find a safe place to store your documents, so keeping them in order will make it easier for you to destroy them once they reach their retention date.

  • Consider storing documents off-site

If you haven’t already got a security safe to house important documents in the office – keeping desks tidy and confidential information out of harm’s way – then it’s well worth visiting eSafes. They stock an extensive range of safes, including small compact units that are perfect for storing a handful of documents, to larger models that have a cash rating. 

However, if space is already at a premium in the office, you might consider storing your documents off-site at a secure facility instead. This not only frees up valuable office space but also gives you peace of mind that your business information is secure as most facilities have several security protocols in place.

And there you have it. There are, of course, many other things you could do to improve document security in the workplace – but these are just our top four tips to ensure that your documents are kept secure, whilst adhering to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).