Arrow back

Keeping it Clear: What is a Clear Desk Policy?

09 March, 2020

Data has become one of the most valuable assets in the world, making information security more important than it’s ever been. Unfortunately, this has made cybercriminals more driven and dangerous too.

Bob’s Business has spent over a decade helping organisations instil a cyber secure culture to better protect their own and their customers’ data.

Throughout the years, we’ve noticed that employees are often laxer or more trusting in the office than they are outside of work, and don’t understand the importance of constant and habitual data protection. The following blog will explain what Keeping it Clear is all about, why it is important and what the best practices are.

Understanding Habits

We all have habits, but it might surprise you to learn just how much we rely on them. A study showed that almost 50% of people’s daily behaviours are automatic. Your habits are a huge part of your everyday life. They allow you to go into autopilot, conserve mental energy and perform repetitive tasks with speed and precision.

However, habits can also cause problems. For example, have you ever moved houses in the same area only to find yourself accidentally walking/driving to your old address?

Clear Desk by Default

So, why are we talking about habits? Well, Keeping it Clear is all about consistently and constantly maintaining a clear desk, locking away physical documents, securing removable data storage devices and locking your screen.

This is good information security practise, even when you’re only leaving your desk for a moment. Right now, your brain has an automated response when you decide to leave your desk. If this does not include clearing all your documents away, then you could be putting your organisation’s and its customers’ data at risk.

It takes an average of 66 days of conscious thought to break old habits and form new ones. To help yourself remember, simply write ‘Keep Clear’ on a post-it note on your screen. This short prompt will remind you each time you leave your desk unattended.

Why You Should Choose Cloud-based Storage

Cloud-based storage services are a great way of reducing the risk of physical documents falling into the wrong hands.

By uploading documents to a shared cloud platform, which is accessible to multiple accounts that are granted permission to view or edit, you can maintain one online version that can then be shared digitally without having to create multiple copies.

This ensures the integrity of the information as it removes multiple versions of the same document.

Top Tips

In our time working with organisations, we’ve amassed a number of simple, top tips to help protect information in various ways. The following things should help you get into the habit of maintaining a clear desk, and keep your organisation and its information in the clear.

  • Keep a clear desktop to maintain the integrity and availability of information.
  • Lock your computer when leaving your desk to avoid any unauthorised access.
  • Never leave documents or removable data storage devices openly accessible.
  • When working remotely, follow the same keeping clear guidelines as you would at work!

Back to resources

Ready to build your cybersecurity culture?

Whether you’re looking for complete culture change, phishing simulations or compliance training, we have solutions that are tailor-made to fit for your organisation.

Girl with laptop
Boy with laptop
man and woman with laptops
Global Cyber Alliance