A few years ago we had a burglary in our office. Among the items they stole were two laptops.
But our data — especially our confidential client information — was safe. Here’s how:
- We don’t keep client credit card information on our computers or in paper anywhere in the office. It’s all kept online in our shopping cart, and it’s only kept online for 30 days. Then it’s cleared out of the cart.
- We keep all client files in a locked drawer or fire-proof safe.
- We burn or shred all client information from inactive clients.
- We don’t keep notes about the client in the computer. Instead, we take all notes manually and keep them locked away with the client files.
- We back up our computers daily to an offsite backup. We use Mozy.com and iDrive, which automatically uploads any new or updated files each night.
There are three things you need to protect against: loss of data because a hard drive fails, loss of data because of theft, and loss of data because of fire or flood. Most people backup their data to an external hard drive or CD. That will protect you if your hard drive fails, but it won’t protect you if your computer gets stolen or burns up in a fire.
We’ve learned some important lessons about office data security through this experience, and now that the dust has settled, we’re sure we won’t ever lose our digital data and we’ll keep our client files secure!