Maintaining the confidentiality of records is a fundamental aspect of safeguarding sensitive information and upholding trust in various sectors. To safeguard people, organizations, and even society as a whole, it is essential to maintain the confidentiality of all data, whether it be personal, financial, or business-related.
The importance of maintaining record confidentiality will be discussed in this article, along with the consequences of breaches and preventative steps that can be taken to safeguard sensitive data.
What is Confidentiality?
Confidentiality stems from the word “confine.” Confidentiality itself is the process of keeping confidential documents secure from those who do not have authorized access.
Every business demands confidentiality as they have confidential work and client documents that needs to be protected. In additon, it’s important to abide by the confidentiality rules set by your government.
What does confidential data include?
It’s essential to understand what information or data comes under confidentiality. The data that is non-public comes under confidential records. For example:
- Social Security / Social Insurance numbers
- Vehicle identification numbers (VINs)
- Medical and health records
- Credit card numbers
- Banking details
- Passwords and usernames
- Personal employee information
- Financial records
- Business plans
- Research data
- Customer data
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Any information that, if leaked, can harm an individual or an organization should be kept confidential.
Why is Confidentiality Important?
Why should you be vigilant and keep your company and clients’ records and information confidential? Why is confidentiality important to your company? These are common questions.
Maintaining and keeping clients’ documents confidential is needed in today’s high-tech era. A breach of confidentiality can lead to serious repercussions such as identity theft, fraud, harm to one’s reputation, and compromised privacy.
In a nutshell,
- Confidentiality helps build your employees’ and clients’ trust in your company.
- If you are from the medical industry, confidentiality promotes confidence. Patients are more prone to talk to their doctors when they know their information will stay locked behind doors.
- High confidentiality eliminates the chance of misuse of data and sensitive information.
- Confidentiality keeps the company’s reputation intact. Clients are more likely to work with companys that prioritize the protection of their data.
- Confidentiality keeps the company records and information from the wrong hands; this is highly important when employing staff for sensitive positions like research departments.
Here are some examples to understand confidentiality:
- Health and Social Care Confidentiality: All medical records of the employees who have access to such information are confidential. Apart from that, the medical staff should make sure they have taken consent from the patient to use the information.
- Patient/doctor confidentiality: Everything told to the doctor by the patient should stay between the two parties, regardless of the personal data. The doctor cannot repeat anything the patient has told the doctor about his physical or mental condition, even if it is in the best intentions.
- Confidentiality in Education Institutes: Confidentiality is highly important in schools and colleges. It saves the pupils and their families in one way or another. Confidentiality in schools keeps the institutions and all concerned parties safe and sound.
Types Of Confidentiality
There are five main types of confidential information. In your workplace, you must be familiar with these types of confidentiality in order to safekeep your company and client data.
1. Employee/Staff Information
Anything related to your employees must be regarded as confidential, from gossip to personal information. Especially if you are in the management or HR department, handling such information sensitively is crucial.
Employee’s personal information, such as name, address, maiden name, etc., should be kept in secure files. These shouldn’t be attached to unsecured emails and shouldn’t be passed through unsecured communication channels. It is how data leaks happen.
Apart from securing the company’s reputation, you are also required by the law to keep such information confidential.
2. Administrative Information
Administrative information means all decisions that the executive department makes for the employees. It means promotions, redundancies, hiring of new employees, as well as pending disciplinary actions against employees. All this is confidential and illegal to share with third parties without prior consent.
3. Organizational Information
Organizational information is most commonly known as the trade secrets of a company. Such information is highly crucial for any company’s success or failure.This data includes the company’s private information, such as policies and processes, budget information, costs, forecasts, and customer contact information.
4. Customer/Contact Information
In sensitive jobs like research and financial departments of companies, the employees have to sign Non-disclosure agreements; these also come under trade secrets. Moreover, the customer’s information in organizations like banks and call centers is also confidential.
5. Professional Information
Personal information given to any individual or practicing professional (lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc.) is confidential. Leaking such information can result in legal action by the affected individual.
Breaches of confidentiality can detrimental to your business. It’s important to keep all such data under high security.
If you’re looking for a secure way to share confidential information, TitanFile is your one-stop-shop for all secure file sharing. TitanFile encrypts data in transit and at rest, preventing data from being leaked while being shared or in storage.
Organizations in legal, financial, healthcare, government, and medical trust TitanFile to maintain the confidentiality of their records.