How to Protect Important Business Documents

Sep 23, 09 How to Protect Important Business Documents
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If you’ve been doing business online for a while, I’m sure you’ve come across the headaches of keeping track of and protecting important and sensitive business documents. Anything from joint venture agreements, non disclosure agreements, to sensitive password lists, are pretty tough to keep track of especially if your business is moving at light speed.

Since keeping track of important business documents can seem like a full time job, I figured I would share these few tidbits to give you all an idea of how I organize my documents, to maybe possibly make your lives a little easier.

Purchase a Backup Drive: First of all, if I didn’t have a small portable external hard drive, I would probably not put as much thought into this. This allows me to make sure that all important files on my laptop’s hard drive are constantly backed up just in case the laptop decides to kick the bucket.

In the event that my laptop’s hard drive croaks, I can easily replace it and restore all the important documents directly from the external drive. That allows me to keep a clear head and not get paranoid if my laptop starts acting up for some reason. I’ve been a witness to way too many stories of individuals losing all of their personal files, family pics, etc.  Important or not, it’s still your information, and you want to make sure you always have a backup somewhere.

No Obvious Nomenclature: What’s also important is the nomenclature you use when naming sensitive information. I’m pretty silly, so I come up with extra creative names for some of my important documents. That way, I’ll be the only one that knows what these oddly named documents contain.

If you travel with a laptop, the probability of it getting lost naturally increases, due to its mobility. In the event that it does get lost, if someone is snooping around for important files, something named “47098-fruitbalm.xls” will probably not get their attention as much as “My Ultra Master Password List.xls“. Be smart when naming your sensitive files.

Encrypt Your Files: When you save these files, you want to make sure that they are password protected. In the event that you do lose the files, the loser numbskull that gets a hold of your info shouldn’t be able to access it. If you’re using Word or Excel, simply open the file, select Options from the Tools menu, and click the Security tab. There you will be able to set a Word or Excel password for your files.

For those that are a bit more tech savvy, check these articles out for more advanced encryption methods: Windows Users or Mac Users

Unfortunately, if you’re anything like me, a big issue that comes up sometimes is forgetting the password created for some of your files. I try to remember them all, but having a master password list for all of my sensitive documents on the same machine with all of my sensitive documents would be silly of me. In the event that you forget a password and aren’t able to get into the documents for some reason, here’s a neat little trick that allows you to recover the excel password for your encrypted documents.

While there are many ways to ensure that your important, and sensitive business documents are protected, simple methods like not sharing your passwords, locking the door where your system resides, and having a password to gain access to your laptop or desktop after it’s been sitting idle for a while are all some simple steps you can take to make sure your important business documents are protected and aren’t compromised.

What are some ways that you all are protecting your sensitive documents?  Share with the readers and let us know.

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