4. April 2010, 01:06 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

Messy desks can leak secrets. Working papers and items we use every day can give away secrets, divulge intellectual property, or negatively impinge our privacy and that of others if left laying about in plain view.

The following are a few tips to help keep your desk and work area more secure.

  • Keep important papers, notebooks and daily planners in a locked drawer. Also consider taking them home at the end of the day. Personal items should be kept in a locked briefcase or cabinet.
  • Make sure hand held devices and cellular telephones are with you at all times. This also applies to keys, tokens and access cards. Notify the appropriate security person or department immediately if you discover keys, tokens or cards have gone missing.
  • When you leave your desk close applications and turn off your monitor. If you will be absent for more than a few minutes, turn off the computer. Password protect the system startup and/or account login, and password enable any screen saver you may use. DO NOT write these passwords down and store in an easily accessed location. Store portable media such as CD’s, DVD’s, flash memory cards, USB keys or diskettes in a locked drawer when not in use.
  • Remove important printouts from printer trays as soon as they are done printing, and if possible clear them from the printer buffer. Clear all caches at day’s end and shred any superfluous and unneeded documents before leaving for the day.
  • Arrange furniture such as desks and worktables so that any sensitive information on either cannot be seen from windows or hallways. Close the blinds on windows far enough to block external view and erase whiteboards when done or lock the shutters if they are so equipped.
  • Close your office door when you leave it and lock the door if you will be gone for longer periods.

Good security can start with acquiring good work habits. It doesn’t take much and can make a significant impact on improving information security.

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