What is Confidential Information In The Workplace?

Posted by Ray Barry

Most workplaces have a confidential information clause written into their employment agreements. Whether you work for an attorney, real estate agent, doctor, or even in a factory, you may have access to confidential information. Confidential information is anything that has sensitive information containing personal data.  This type of information must be closely guarded so that it doesn't get into the hands of a competitor.

Confidential Information Meaning

Confidential information is information that is not to be shared with just anyone. Furthermore, you are prohibited from using such information for yourself. It may be referred to as privileged information or proprietary information. In some cases, information may be available to just a few people or an entire department in the workplace. Some confidential information examples are listed below.

Types of Confidential Information

The types of confidential information you may come across depends on your area of work. Some type of confidential information might include:

  • Client information in a law firm;

  • Medical information;

  • Customer lists;

  • Vendor lists;

  • Recipes;

  • Formulas for products created in a factory; and

  • Information used by government agencies.

Even information that you may not consider confidential may be considered privileged by your employer. Often, sales information is kept confidential unless SEC requires it to be public information. If you are not sure what is considered confidential information for your company, always ask. When disposing of confidential information, it should be professionally shredded.

Securing Data

Security in the workplace must be taken seriously, from secure areas to document shredding. In addition to securing private information, some offices need security for their employees – usually government offices and places that handle a lot of cash including banks and retail establishments. Key card access to the building and to secure areas of the office and closed circuit monitoring are key elements to securing the entire office or even a secure room where you keep confidential information.

Minimize the chance for leaks by providing key cards and keeping confidential information accessible to only those who need it. You may have some documents that several people need access to and some that only a few people need access to. With key cards and with password-protected partitions on your hard drive you will be able to limit certain types of confidential information to select employees.

Securing Confidential Information

The best way to keep confidential information secure is to set up a separate locked room for your files. You could keep locked shred boxes in the same room. As files or individual documents become obsolete, place them in locked shred boxes from Carolina Shred. We'll pick them up and either shred them on site under your watchful eye or we will take them to our shredding facility for shredding.

A secure room should have a protected ventilation system, steel doors, fire extinguishers and backup communications. Filing cabinets should also have locks, along with shred boxes.

Documents That Should Be Shredded

Any documents with private information such as names, addresses, social security numbers and other personal information of your employees or clients should be considered confidential and should be professionally shredded. Hard drives and other storage media that are no longer working or that has been upgraded should also be shredded by a company that has NAID Certification and provides you with a certificate of destruction.

Contact Carolina Shred

If you are looking for a professional shredding company or are ready to change shredding companies, contact our office at Carolina Shred to discuss your needs. We will provide you with locking shred boxes and help you set up a schedule to come out and shred the full boxes.