8 Common Mistakes with File Management to Avoid for Small Businesses

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Every day, close to 5 million records are stolen or lost worldwide, costing businesses billions of dollars. This is how prevalent trading business and personal data has become. This is one of the most significant reasons you can’t afford to make mistakes with file management.

When you have an online business, you’re more likely to have digital files on your computer or in the cloud. The cloud has become the standard for file sharing and storage, and it comes with a plethora of benefits, like being able to backup important files.

While these options are much safer than paper files would be, you still need to consider common cyber threats like hacking, phishing, malware, and attacks on IoT devices.

8 Online File Management Mistakes To Avoid

For this reason, we’ll share some of the worst mistakes you may be making with your online file management, so you can stop or avoid them. Avoiding the below steps will make you more prone to follow the best practices for file management.

#1. Not Backing up Your Data

One of the worst mistakes with file management is failing to back up. The first rule of storing any files on your computer is backing them up in case something unexpected happens, and you lose them. This is especially vital if you’re storing important business files that you can’t afford to lose.

To avoid this mistake, set regular automatic file backups to a different source, like an external hard drive, or, better yet, the cloud. You need to implement measures that safeguard your data and essential business information at all times. It’s advisable to backup critical data more frequently and in two different locations to prevent data loss when something happens to one location.

#2. Accessing Files From Unsafe WiFi

Sometimes you just have to access some important files while away from the office quickly, and you may be tempted to use any available Wi-Fi, just for a few minutes. It could be at a coffee shop or at a friend’s house, and while it’s understandable, it’s extremely risky. Hackers are getting cunning by the day and using more sophisticated methods that it may only take those few minutes for them to infiltrate your system.

When you access your business files through an unsecured Wi-Fi, you risk all your files and sensitive business information, which could leave you with dire consequences.

#3. Allowing Too Many People Access

The most common mistake with file management is when businesses allow too many people the privilege of accessing business files. Regardless of where you choose to store your files, it’s vital that only a few trusted employees have access. Having too many people access the administration settings can put your files at risk.

You never know when an employee is out to sabotage your business. To keep your files safe, limit the number of people that access the filing system. If you have a file management team, let them be the only ones who have access, plus a manager or two, and can access the files for everyone else.

#4. Sharing Files Through Unprotected Routes

Even though you can’t offer access to your filing system to everyone, collaboration is still important. Everyone will need to access some files sometimes, and this exchange of data needs to happen on a secure platform. Hackers can easily access your data en route, so find a secure online platform where everyone can share files safely.

#5. Failing to Maintain a Retention Schedule

You may not know this, but just like physical files, digital files must comply with the law as well. There’s a given number of years for document retention, and the regulations vary with state, federal, and local laws. Failure to preserve files for the specified amount of time could lead to hefty fines and penalties.

This makes it vital for you to keep up with the laws in your state. If you don’t find any laws governing your state’s digital files, you can create a retention policy in your business. This way, you’ll know when you need to destroy the files you no longer have to maintain.

#6. Failing to Organize and Index Files

When running a business, every minute of your time counts, and the last thing you want is to spend time looking for files. If you fail to index and organize your files accordingly, searching for files may become the order of the day.

Use the right names for files and logically organize them to make it easy to retrieve documents faster. You may not know how to find files on your Mac, and it could take a long time before you find what you need.

#7. Not Backing up Paper Documents

If your business deals with paper documents such as receipts, you need to ensure you back them up digitally. Anything can happen to paper documents, including misplacement and tearing, so having backup copies is vital. Your business needs to adapt to proper file management to protect both physical and digital files at all times.

#8. Not Working With a File Management Firm

Depending on how large your company is, handling everything inhouse may be overwhelming. Collaborating with a professional file management firm will not only save you time but ensure that all your files are safe. The best thing about a file management firm is that this is all they focus on.

Hence they have dedicated their time to learning about all the best file management practices. Even better, they are always up to date with all the regulatory and compliance guidelines regarding document storage.

They invest in state-of-the-art file storage facilities. This means you can have peace of mind knowing your files are completely safe. Even if you have to pay for the services, this is totally worth it as it’ll help you avoid mistakes with file management.

Top Mistakes With File Management to Avoid

There are so many mistakes with file management people make, but these are some of the most important ones to avoid. You must have backup storage because you never know what could happen, and some of your business files could be sensitive.

Now that you understand what mistakes to avoid with file management check out our blog section for more posts on online storage, video editing, advertising, and more!

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