Client confidentiality is an important part of business ethics. Individuals or institutions are expected to keep private information from third parties. Disclosing information would result in a breach of trust and can lead to serious consequences. This is especially important for professionals, such as attorneys, psychiatrists and health professionals. Fortunately, there are certain steps that you can take to protect client confidentiality. With these basic guidelines, you help to protect your clients information, as well as protect yourself from legal issues.
Be aware of your surroundings when discussing or working with client information. Working in an open area can result in private information being exposed to others. If possible, handle paperwork or data behind closed doors. If you work in a shared office, be sure to put way documents in a safe location when you are finished with them.
Tone down the conversation when you are around others. Wait until you are in a private location, such as the office, to discuss sensitive information. When talking on the phone, keep the office door closed to prevent others from overhearing the conversation.
Protect client information by using a program that secures and encrypts sensitive information on your computer. Create folders with unique names, and install an anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer, making sure to check for regular updates. Create a strong password using letters, characters and words to lock your computer when you are away from it.
Password protect your hand-held devices to protect client confidentiality. Devices that are used to store things, such as addresses and phone numbers, have very little protection.