8 File Management Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Whether it’s for business or personal use, proper document management is something you cannot take for granted. Document loss, theft, or hacking is something your business is not prepared to deal with.

Yet, your business and personal data go through this more often than you can imagine.

You don’t have to be a victim to start managing your files and saving yourself from unnecessary business stress in the future. You can learn from other’s mistakes and adopt proper practices.

This post has compiled some common file management mistakes that you and your employees can learn from:

1. Not Keeping Your Paper Documents Digitally

Just because you have modern and high-quality drawers and shelves don’t mean your data is safe. Those physical records need to be digitized and secured via industry-grade encryption.

Anything can happen if your documents are left unprotected. Think of misplacement, information stealing, espionage operations, and other common cyber threats.

What if your office catches fire? Will your physical documents be safe?

Aside from paper documents, take into account your media files as well. Video files can get corrupted at any time if not stored digitally.

One way to ensure safety is to convert video to audio and be stored in the right format.

Your business must adopt a proper record management system to protect your physical and media files in case of anything.

A digital backup is, therefore, a must-have for all types of documents.

2. Ignoring Current Laws and Regulations

Every state has laws and guidelines regarding document preservation and destruction. But then these laws keep changing, and as a company, you need to stay updated all the time.

Sometimes you might not have committed the mistake knowingly but out of ignorance.

Running into litigation trouble for not preserving confidential documents the right way can be costly. Aside from time and money loss, your business also risks jeopardizing its reputation.

Therefore, you must always stay updated with the new laws of management of confidential and sensitive data.

3. Not Following the Retention Schedule

Sometimes storing data for a long time can cause more harm than good. There are some types of data that need to be stored for a specified period.

Failing to follow this schedule can spell doom for your business.

A retention strategy helps the business have formal procedures that determine when they can be destroyed and which ones will be retained in your record storage center.

You need to adhere to the schedule and regulatory compliance failure to which you make the first file management mistake.

4. Not Carrying Out Proper Document Shredding

The risk of information leak is rampant in the business world. Some are caused by carelessness, such as not carrying out proper document shredding.

Yes, you must consider how well you’re disposing of the files you no longer use.

Hackers and thieves are always on the lookout for the slightest mistake your business makes. But they’re not the only ones in your trash.

Think of your competitors, the media, or investigators that have prying eyes and check on anything to find a loophole.

Those financial records, confidential information, and sensitive data should never end up in the hands of the wrong individuals.

Ensure you carry out proper paper shredding and destruction services to avoid any leak.

5. The File Management Mistakes of Not Protecting Digital Backups

Many companies going digital and storing files digitally seem to be the new norm. But even with cloud file storage, your business is not yet safe.

If you have your documents in a digital backup system, you must ensure they have appropriate file protection.

You need to protect the files so that you have an easier time retrieving them but give unauthorized parties a difficult time getting access.

Data tape rotation service can come in handy for such types of storage. Whenever your business suffers uncertainties that result in data loss, the tapes will supply the data to the emergency site.

6. Not Working With a Record Management Firm

Handling everything in-house may save you money but can be risky in the long run. Working with a professional file management firm saves you time and ensures you have complete peace of mind.

These firms focus entirely on file management. They dedicate all their time to learning the best practices.

Additionally, they’re always up to date with guidelines and regulatory compliance regarding document storage.

The firms employ state of the art document storage facilities making everything easy. Whether it’s storage, retrieval, securing, or maintaining the documents, the firms have it all.

There is no reason why you should not spend some money to have this kind of document treatment.

7. Not Organizing and Indexing Files the Right Way

In business, time is an asset, and you can’t waste even a second. But when you don’t organize and index your files properly, time wastage will be the order of the day in your company.

Think of those instances where you can’t find the files you need as soon as you need them.

Proper file organization and indexing, such as using names for files, helps you manage your files using a logical arrangement.

This way, you can easily retrieve them whenever you need something and go back to work immediately.

8. In-House Record Management

When you’re running a small business, in-house record management seems to be harmless.

But when your business grows and becomes busier, you cannot postpone moving file management systems outside your company.

Not all companies do this and that’s how they fail in file management. But you don’t have to repeat this mistake with your business.

Don’t rely on in-house file management because, as far as it may appear cheap, it’s one of the most expensive file management systems.

Don’t Make These Mistakes

These file management mistakes have been committed by one or two companies in the past, which cost them dearly.

But as for your business, you already know what to do to properly manage your files and avoid these mistakes.

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