Employers are being encouraged to increase data security

Employers are being encouraged to increase data security

UK businesses are being called on to prioritise information security in the run up to Christmas to make sure that their businesses are protected against a data security breach.

Shred-it, a company expert in information destruction, has released a humorous twelve days of Christmas list, a step by step guide to handling data in a secure manner.

Robert Guice, senior vice president, atShred-it EMEAA commented “As employees head off for a well-deserved break, it is vital businesses review their information security protocols to ensure the office is adequately secured and confidential information remains protected whilst everyone is away.”

He added, “Preparation is key and to safeguard against a risk of a data breach during the Christmas period, organisations must ensure data security remains a priority. After all, the last thing any organisation wants is to have to deal with in 2016 is a hefty fine or a damaged reputation caused by a careless data breach.”


  • On the first day of Christmas, make sure all employees leave a clean desk behind before they leave for the holidays, ensuring any confidential information is safely secured or destroyed to stop it falling into the wrong hands.


  • On the second day of Christmas, ask employees to make sure laptops and mobile phones are stored away before they go on leave and not left exposed on desks to avoid a potentially damaging data breach.


  • On the third day of Christmas, don’t forget to tell staff working from home over the festive period how to dispose of office-related documents. While the recycling bin is perfect for unwanted wrapping paper, it is not the right place for information pertaining to your business.


  • On the fourth day of Christmas, make sure you know who will be in the office over the festive season. Many businesses hire contractors during this time so it is important staffs are reminded of this to ensure official documents are not left in plain sight.


  • On the fifth day of Christmas, create a log of all electronic equipment or USBs leaving the office over the Christmas period. It is important to keep track of where all storage devices are to help protect an organisation from a harmful data breach.


  • On the sixth day of Christmas, limit the type of documents that employees can remove from the office as there is no way to ensure data is secured when it’s outside your company’s control.


  • On the seventh day of Christmas, be sure electronic devices such as tablets and laptops which employees might be working on from home are encrypted and password protected to safeguard any confidential information stored on them.


  • On the eighth day of Christmas, remind employees to destroy all invoices or other financial documents that are no longer needed. In the frantic rush to get all invoices paid before the end of year, careless mistakes could ensue which could lead to a damaging data breach.


  • On the ninth day of Christmas, your Christmas bonus may have arrived, but remember, payslips and all other employee information should be destroyed or safely stored away from prying eyes.


  • On the tenth day of Christmas, adopt the mantra ‘new year, new start’. Revisit your information security protocols and conduct an information security audit of your business to ensure that your data is as fully protected as possible.


  • On the eleventh day of Christmas, start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions. Need to keep your paperwork under control? Consider employing a shredding service to help your business become more efficient, secure and reduce the risk of an information security breach.


  • On the twelfth day of Christmas, in the New Year many employees start to think about clearing out their desks but it is important to make sure employees are safely destroying their confidential information and not simply throwing it away in an unsecured waste paper basket or recycling bin for others to get their hands on.






Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.