I’ve been doing a lot of organising lately – I’m not sure if its Spring in the air or emerging from lock down but my home has undergone a huge decluttering and my word it feels good (especially when you come across baby products from almost 10 years ago). Wow – that was a surprise!
Not unsurprisingly, this enthusiasm flowed over to my work and I embarked on some digital decluttering … (promise, I can be fun!). While updating some filing (I’ll share a couple of tips below on what I do) I realised just how much access I had to others folders and how a simple system would address this (potentially quite large) security issue.
So What Happens?
It’s easy to do (and I do it myself) to share a quick link to a shared folder with someone you are working or collaborating with. The project gets completed and they still have access. But what happens when that folder is still active and being used within your business? What new content are you sharing? Is your IP at risk?
How To Address It
Integrate folder access into your project off-boarding system. At invoice creation or invoice payment (depending on project type) add in an extra step:
- Review documentation and file access
- If folder access is still required, add the word ‘shared’ or something similar so it’s easy for you and your team to know that the folder is open to others.
- If you are working with a team, its also smart to add this information to your employee onboarding documentation so they understand protocol from the outset and you don’t leave yourself open more than intended.
What to do next.
- Put aside an hour or so and run through my end of year filing system below – not only will it clean up your folder structure (and save you lots of time when looking for things) but you’ll also have an opportunity to secure your business IP.
Do you have any end of year systems you complete? Simply hit reply and share – I’d love to know!
My end of year filing system:
- Go through each of your folders and add an XArchive folder – literally a folder called XArchive. I name it this so that it sits at the bottom of the folder away from my daily workspace
- Drop and drag any old folders and files that you haven’t used for the year into here (or things you know you don’t need any longer). For example, I will move any project ideas I’ve completed, ideas I’ve dismissed or ideas that are no longer relevant into here. Same with clients I’ve finished working with.
- While doing this take a look at who has access to your folders. Does an old employee using their personal email address have access? Any contractors you are no longer working with? Remove their access where relevant.