Why A Clear Desk Policy?
This is an area that is often misunderstood. This does not mean just having a clean desk. It is broader than that. A clean desk policy is an important way to ensure that all sensitive/confidential materials are removed from a user’s workspace and locked away when the items are not in use or when an employee leaves his/her workstation. It is one of the best strategies to mitigate the risk of security breaches in a place of work. This type of policy can also increase the awareness of employees regarding the importance of protecting sensitive information.
Clean Desk Policy – Importance to Cleaners
This policy is intended to ensure that all workplace areas are clear. When the work place is clear, it is easy to clean. This ensures many benefits for an organisation, including:
- Increased cleanliness, which reduces the risk of occupational health and safety issues.
- A clean environment provides an amazing first impression for visitors and customers.
- Employees are definitely more effective. People love to work in a neat and clean environment.
- It protects the confidentiality of sensitive information, as mentioned previously.
Some of the elements of a clear desk policy are:
- Employees are required to ensure that all sensitive/confidential information in hard copy or electronic form is secure in their work area at the end of each day and when they expect to be away for an extended period.
- Computer workstations must be locked when the workspace is unoccupied.
- Computer workstations must be shut down completely at the end of each working day.
- Any restricted or sensitive information must be locked in a drawer when the desk is unoccupied, and at the end of each work day.
- Filing cabinets containing restricted or sensitive information must be closed and locked when not in use or when not attended.
- Keys used to access restricted or sensitive information must not be kept at an unattended desk.
- Laptops must be either locked with a locking cable or locked away in a drawer.
- Passwords must not be left on sticky notes posted on or under a computer, and must not be in written form in an accessible location.
Implementing a clean desk policy requires more than just talking about it. It is a systematic process of convincing employees to make it happen. All organisations need to have a proper process to monitor their clear desk policy after it has been implemented.
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