Avoiding data breach mistakes

Many data breaches are inadvertent, caused by staff emailing a document to the wrong person. This can lead to embarrassing phone calls, and in the worst cases reputational damage and loss of revenue.

Clearly naming documents helps to prevent this. If a document contains confidential or personal information, its name should show that  – either by including the client name (so it isn’t sent to the wrong client) or the words confidential, internal or private. This provides a visual clue to the person sending the email before they click Send.

Anyone who has tried to recall a message using Outlook will know that it does not work, and can often highlight your mistake to the recipient, ensuring that they will open  the attachment. For increased security, and the possibility of stopping the document being read by the recipient and sent to others, a file sharing service should be used. This allows you to send a link to the document, rather than an attachment. If you realise you have made a mistake, you can stop the link from working, and prevent access to the document.

There are a number of file sharing services which store your files in New Zealand or overseas. If you are using a document management system, it may offer a file sharing module. There are a few important things to consider before choosing a file sharing service, including the security of the service itself. Please get in touch if you’d like some assistance in this area.


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