“Clean-up your computer month” – our guide to keeping data safe.

‘Clean up your computer’ month for January, marks the importance of organisations and the workforce adhering to the principles and guidelines of data protection (GDPR) and ensuring that appropriate and adequate security measures have been implemented to protect staff, their devices and the data they use and share. In the current climate, we all individually need to take personal responsibility of being compliant with national and local policies and practices.

It is also paramount that organisations are able to achieve cost effective storage solutions through adopting these ‘good’ practice principles and limiting how much information is stored.

It really isn’t about the use of cleaning materials and rubber gloves to ensure that your device is clean and tidy! Although, there is a need to keep kit and desks neat and paper-free in-line with ‘clear desk and hot-desking’ policies.

It is really helpful to follow the advice and guidance that is made available regarding the cleaning-up of devices for the following reasons:

  • We should only keep hold of data; comprising of emails, attachments, case details and other documentation and information, to meet our specific business need. With the introduction of the GDPR guidelines earlier this year, it is even more pertinent for individuals, teams and organisations to be really vigilant about which data is retained and for how long. And we are obliged to ask data owners if they want us to keep this information through the use of the ‘privacy’ guidelines. Organisations need to clearly articulate their retention, archiving and disposal policy guidelines. (See – insert link to GDPR best practice)
  • We need to ensure that adequate, reliable security measures are in place to prevent the misuse of the data that we hold. If we need to  share data with partners and other agencies, then it can be done in a secure manner. We also need to be careful that if a device is lost or stolen, that the security protection that has been deployed will prevent access to data unlawfully.
  • It is a known fact that the more data that is kept, the more storage capacity is required. This poses a number of issues for organisations:
    • information overflow – a need to ensure that there is clarity about what is kept for how long and how this is managed and stored
    • investment in robust document management systems to ensure the electronic safeguarding of information, rather than being riddled with tons of paper! To reduce cost, it is necessary to limit how much data we keep
    • physical, virtual or cloud storage – the more we need to store, the more expensive our storage solution. As more and more organisations review their infrastructure and storage solutions, it is an ideal opportunity to reduce the amount of data that is kept, so that storage is optimised and made as cost effective as possible.

The start of a new year and the opportunity to refresh the approach to using, storing and sharing data and keeping devices secure! Please take the necessary actions to ensure that these guidelines and best practice are followed to protect yourself and any potential mis-management of data.

“Clean-up your computer month” – our guide to keeping data safe.