Protecting information that makes a business successful is a central part of every company’s plan. Employees are never permanent fixtures, and fewer work long-term than they used to. It’s wise, then, to anticipate that they will depart at some point and protect business interests through well-crafted confidentiality and/or noncompetition agreements. The damages that can otherwise flow from an employee’s move to a competitor can undermine profitability or, in some cases, even threaten a company’s survival.
Preventing problems like those requires advance planning. A good place to start is with organization. Businesses must understand the types of information to safeguard and be certain to control how that data is stored, how it’s used, and who has access to it. It’s common to protect pricing material; customer lists; product plans; customer purchase and sales histories; marketing information; and other information that is central to business success. Companies should ensure that only those who need such data at work have access to it. They should maintain rules for data use and ways to track it. Information commonly used or known by some employees – customer contract information, e.g., or pricing structures – are best stored on computers or in files at company offices. [Read more...]