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Clean Up Your Act

Clean Up Your Act

A messy desk, sloppy security habits, and lost mobile devices put company data at risk.

Nearly 637,000 laptops are lost each year at U.S. airports, according to a recent survey. Most are lost at security checkpoints.

Your mom’s right. Cleaning up after yourself is still important. Network attacks and security breaches by hackers get the big headlines, but a messy desk can be just as risky—and just as inviting to thieves looking to steal company secrets and proprietary information.

And it’s not just maintaining a clean desk that’s important. Physical security—that’s the category of risk a messy desk falls in to—also covers the protection of personnel, physical resources, and facilities from loss or damage. Paying attention to even small physical security details—like keeping an eye on your mobile device when you go through airport security, or shredding confidential files—can make a huge difference in protecting our organization’s information.


Help protect physical security and prevent a data incident by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Keep your desk clean.
  • Quickly retrieve sensitive information from shared printers and FAX machines.
  • Wipe whiteboards clean after meetings.
  • Properly dispose of sensitive information.
  • Close secure doors behind you and never prop open a door to a secured area.
  • Ensure visitors sign in and wear a visitor’s badge.


Make sure you’re also familiar with these common security risks:

  • Shoulder surfing. Keep sensitive information on your mobile device out of sight of snoopers.
  • Eavesdropping. Make sure no one is listening when you talk about sensitive company or personal information.
  • Unauthorized tailgaters. It may be polite to hold open a door, but not when it violates security. Don’t let anyone follow you into our facility without scanning their own badges.
  • Unsecured mobile devices. Prevent loss or theft by keeping your mobile device close at hand.

One person alone can’t protect our physical security. It’s a job for everyone. Make sure you’re doing your part by keeping your desk clean, securing confidential files, and protecting mobile devices.

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