5 Ways To Keep Documents Secure

You work hard every day, creating, developing and sharing marketing collateral: datasheets, price lists, quotes, RFP responses, presentations, competitive analysis, sensitive reports, product designs, business plans and more.

In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly important to make sure that these documents are not lost; and that you can share them while making sure they do not end up in the wrong hands. Advances in content sharing, collaboration and communication are helping companies to achieve greater results and increased client satisfaction.

However, industry analyst firm Gartner states that 84% of data loss is a result of authorized parties distributing content externally. Additionally, outside factors such as viruses and spyware are also infiltrating this otherwise beneficial exchange of information.

The necessary evolution is for companies to master how to effectively collaborate and share, while simultaneously reducing risks and gaining efficiencies by taking control of their documents. When considering company data security, one must take into account every step and potential outside factor that can affect the information -- from creation to collaboration to delivery among employees, partners and clients.



In these hard economic times, purchasing extra software and security solutions can be a daunting addition to IT budgets. But securing your company's data does not require expensive add-ons. Below are five free tools you should consider getting if you don't have them already:

  • Anti-virus - Anti-virus is probably the most well-known security measure. It scans your system continuously for the latest malware and makes sure your system integrity is maintained. Recently, there have been many reliable, free anti-virus applications available for use. Consider using these before paying the big bucks to the established vendors.
  • Firewall - A firewall keeps hackers out by blocking suspect inbound communication. Microsoft Windows comes with basic firewall functionality, but using other free applications is recommended, and easy to implement.
  • Anti-spyware - Anti-spyware programs check for spyware and adware that you may have accidentally installed on your system, making sure your data is kept private and that your system runs smoothly. It often is integrated with the anti-virus software or firewall suite. There are various free applications available online.
  • Backup - Online backup is widely available, and recently made very simple and affordable. Similar to an insurance policy, you should consider an account as hard drives often fail. Some vendors even offer a gigabyte plus of free storage.
  • Document control - A document control service allows you to send documents to partners, customers or colleagues and restrict the recipients' ability to view, copy, print or forward these documents. You can also use such a service to track your documents at all times, see when and where they were viewed and by whom. This is incredibly useful if you wish to always have control over your documents and prevent your hard work from ending up in the wrong hands.

Keeping your work safe is actually not difficult or expensive, despite pre-conceptions that some marketing professionals may have in investigating available security options.

In this age of extreme transparency and increased risk, it is important to be mindful of what you do, and take some time to familiarize yourself with the solutions out there. It does not hurt to test various options on your own system, fitting them to the needs of your preferred level of document and network security.

Editor's note: If you'd like to contribute to this newsletter, see our editorial guidelines first and then contact Nina Lentini.

Next story loading loading..