Information That Should Be Kept Confidential
Information that should be kept confidential are any information that could damage a company's reputation or ability to do business if it becomes public.3 min read
Information that should be kept confidential includes any information that could damage a company's reputation or ability to do business if that information becomes public. Such information is proprietary or sensitive in nature.
Broadly speaking, confidential information is information that is privileged, classified, or the kind of specific information that must not be disclosed.
Confidential Business Information
Every business has information it considers confidential. Such information often pertains to either the business itself or the company's employees.
Confidential information about the business includes but is not limited to:
- Trade secrets.
- Business processes.
- Business operations.
- Inventory details.
- Customers or clients.
- Revenue sources.
- Expenditures and losses.
If you want your customer, client, and employee relations to be characterized by trust, you have to respect confidentiality in your workplace. When clients and employees know you will respect confidentiality, this allows for open and candid communication.
Confidential Employee Information
Businesses usually do a good job of keeping client information private, but this is not always true of employee information. As an employer, if you want your staff to value client and customer information, you need to show the same regard for employee information.
Confidential employee personal and professional information includes but is not limited to:
- Personal data: Social Security Number, date of birth, marital status, and mailing address.
- Job application data: resume, background checks, and interview notes.
Only grant those with the need to know access to this information. Few people beyond your Human Resources department should have access to confidential employee information. If this kind of employee data becomes public, it could lead to discrimination and a potentially hostile working environment. It could also damage trust between employees and the company.
Handling Digital Data
Confidentiality also applies to digital data in the form of online information, applications, databases, and servers. Work with your Information Technology staff to make sure all servers are secure and the data on them is protected. These measures will help maintain employee privacy as well as protect the company from potential legal action and fines.
Utilize email tools that let you encrypt messages so only the intended recipients can open them. This will prevent unintended recipients from reading confidential information.