July 09, 2019

Holidays and Clean Desk Policies. Is Your Workplace Ready?


The summer months are finally here and with the warmer weather comes additional time spent working  remotely and enjoying some well-deserved vacation. With this in mind, employers and human resource departments must ensure that all employees are taking the proper precautionary measures to protect themselves against data breaches while they are working offsite. Despite the common perception that cyber security is the leading cause of all breaches, human error remains the leading cause, according to our 2019 Data Protection Report. 

To help, Shred-it is encouraging everyone to take the Clean Desk Policy quiz to ensure the proper steps are taken this summer to decrease the risks of a data breach.

Before you begin, you may be wondering, what is a Clean Desk Policy? A Clean Desk Policy is a simple way to protect information and reduce the risk of a data breach. The policy requires that all employees, regardless of their level, clean their desk before they leave work at the end of the day. After a long day at the office, it’s easy to forget which documents could put your organization at risk of a data breach. By getting into the habit of clearing your desk at the end of every workday, you will be able to leave work without the fear that you could be at risk of a data breach.  This best practice also works for your home office, too!


1. How often do you change your passwords on all of your electronic devices? 
2. Are you required to remove all documents, files and other items from your desktop at the end of the day?
3. Does your workplace provide proper training on data protection policies throughout the year?
4. Does your workplace provide locked consoles?
5. Does your organization have an individual who is dedicated to oversee information security and privacy in your office?
6. Does your organization conduct regular audits of data protection protocols? 
7. Can you confidently state that your workplace has never experienced a data breach? 

For employees that work offsite or have open-office concepts

8. If your workplace provides you with the option to work away from the office, are you provided  with the proper training?

If you answered no to more than four questions, then your workplace could be at risk for a data breach. Implementing a Clean Desk Policy is only one way to help employees protect confidential information. For more information on how to protect yourself and your organization from a breach, you can visit the Shred-it resource centre.