How to Identify a Confidential Document

The negligence of certain employees are the cause of two-thirds (67%) of security breaches in a company, resulting in confidential information being leaked. Human error is more frequent if employees do not know how to identify different types of confidential information. [1]

Whether at home or at work, the first essential step in reducing your risks is to train your employees. Identifying confidential information examples and the type of information targeted by attackers protects you from a potential breach of confidential information.

What is Confidential Information?

Any document containing personal identity information

These are documents that can identify a specific person; confidential information examples include signatures, names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, account numbers, NRIC numbers, driver's licence, school and medical data. In the professional environment, confidential information includes customer and supplier data.

Any information defined as confidential by the regulations

Data protection laws and other regulations govern the management of data within the professional sphere. Organisations have a legal obligation to protect the confidential information of their customers and employees. For archives, a minimum and maximum retention time is usually defined; use a retention schedule and organise your records by destruction date so the leaking of confidential information is minimised. Consumers are becoming increasingly more informed and demanding regarding the collection and storage of their personal data, so ensure to keep their confidential and sensitive information safe.

Any document detailing the commercial strategy of a company

Businesses need to protect their mission-critical data. This may include data relating to research and development, sales and marketing strategies, income statements, trade secrets, intellectual property, and tax information. A breach of confidential information could result in a loss of trust and reputation, so keeping these confidential documents secure is important.

Documents specifying financial data

Financial documents that refer to a business or person must be protected. They include ATM receipts, credit and debit account statements, check returns, pre-approved credit applications, investments, stocks and real estate transactions.

Any seemingly innocuous document containing sensitive data

Some documents are “confidential” and yet most people do not pay attention to them, resulting in the leaking of confidential information. For example, boarding tickets (barcodes contain contact information), shipping labels (address labels on packages include potentially confidential information), spam (personal data is often included in correspondence), photos (although thieves cannot entirely impersonate with a photo, they can create one), post-it notes (people often write passwords on these notes) and invoices (these include details such as health insurance and bank account numbers).

Any confidential digital document

Most people forget that confidential information is not only in paper form but often stored on a hard drive that cybercriminals can access. Storing hard drives is dangerous, only physical destruction of the hard drive allows permanent destruction of the data.

How to Protect Your Confidential Information

To ensure optimal protection of confidential and sensitive information, confidential documents that are no longer useful must be destroyed in a secure manner. Partnering with a secure destruction company that uses safe and appropriate destruction techniques, such as confidential shredding, will help to prevent the leaking of confidential information. A Policy Shred-it All management policy allows you to reduce the risk of employee error and fraud, aiding in keeping your confidential information secure.

Shred-it can help to protect your confidential information through secure confidential shredding, whether that is archives or hard drives, aiding in the prevention of data leaks.

For more information about how Shred-it can protect your hard documents and hard drives, please get in touch today to see how our services can protect your company, customers, and employees. 



[1] Tech Jury

Disclaimer: This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.