4 tips for keeping client files private
Well, I’ve received this question twice recently. You might be wondering the same thing:
“Lisa – what should I do in my office or house to keep client information private?”
Over the past few years, many people are working from home unexpectedly and they weren’t prepared to know how to protect confidential client information.
You may have a dedicated home office or you may be on your laptop at the kitchen table with kids at home, spouses walking by, or Amazon delivery people ringing the doorbell when you’re on a Zoom call.
Here are 4 tips to keep client files private in your home office:*
1. Don’t leave your files on your desk or kitchen table for others to see.
Put papers in folders, close your laptop, and put your computer to sleep (or off) if you aren’t sitting in front of it so no one (even your 5 year old!) can see your client’s name, notes or info.
2. Ensure that you have antivirus and cybersecurity software on your office or home computer.
You want to use reasonable care and follow industry standards for a home office which means at the very least using software or online programs like McAfee or Webroot to protect your computer from hacks.
3. Store your files into a cabinet or closet away from prying eyes.
Keep your files in a secure location so that people (again, even your 5 year old or nosy teenager) are not rummaging through your stuff looking for their phone which they can’t find (on the rare occasion it’s not glued to their palm.) Many client agreements say that you’ll protect your clients’ confidentiality so you don’t want others to see anything personal about them (even your clients’ names!)
4. Move to a different room or use headphones so your Zoom conversations are as private as possible.
Understanding that spouses and/or kids may be at home when they otherwise may have been at work or school – they may be knocking on your office door, walking by your kitchen laptop or just curious about what you’re talking about when you’re on Zoom calls all day. Protect privacy by being aware who might hear you talk with clients and move away from them, if you can.
All these things will help you build trust with your clients so that they can feel safe and secure to share more deeply with you.
I align keeping information private with the heart chakra because it builds trust with clients and website visitors.
Here’s to buttoning up your client’s privacy as you set yourself up for a wonderful 2022!
*These tips are for non-licensed practitioners. If you are licensed, you’ll want to follow HIPAA guidelines. If you have questions, feel free to hit reply and we’ll talk with you privately.