While many businesses now store valuable and confidential information on servers (and even backup servers for that matter), the filing cabinet still plays a big role in the office environment. In fact, you might say that it’s a fundamental part of the office, a place where employee and customer files can be easily accessed or where a variety of other reference paperwork is stored to enable convenient on-site access. As you know, just about every filing cabinet that stores any type of confidential information should utilize a lock, as this only allows those who should be accessing the cabinet’s contents to do so while also protecting any sort of data breach.
But what happens when the lock fails or is manipulated? At best, it’s enough to make a company uneasy about what could or did potentially happen. At worst, it means that your customers’ information may have been compromised, something that can erase years’ worth of hard work in gaining their trust.
Desks, while typically not used to store confidential information but personal belongings, are similar in that if their locks were to be compromised, a professional could potentially have their wallet, phone, keys or other valuables stolen.
That said, while desks and cabinets may seem like an afterthought when it comes to office security, their locks should not be taken for granted. This piece will take a closer look at cabinet and office security so that you can avoid being burned.
Best Practices for Desk and Cabinet Protection
Before we get into some of the top tips and suggestions for safeguarding cabinets and desks, it’s first important to point out that the locks that these appliances come with, as constructed by the furniture manufacturer, aren’t very high quality. They’re considered typical factory locks, can easily be picked and manipulated and aren’t incredibly long-lasting. That leads us to our first point when it comes to desk and cabinet protection…
Change the Original Manufacturer Locks
If you’re serious about desk and/or cabinet security, the first thing you’ll do is swap out the original manufacturer locks. If you’re handy, you might be able to swing this yourself. If not, you can always contact a professional locksmith, such as those at Great Valley Lockshop, to quickly and effectively complete this task for you. Switching out the locks to a more secure, better lock will immediately enhance the security of your desks and cabinets in the office.
Periodically Replace Locks
It’s likely that more than one person has – or will have – the keys to cabinets in the office. Noting this, and considering the potential for employee turnover – especially in larger, busier offices – it makes sense to regularly change out the locks on filing cabinets to protect the contents inside. This is especially important around employee terminations, when a disgruntled former worker may look to swipe company data or information in an effort to take certain clients with them. The same general rules go for desks.
Keep Cabinets in Secure Office Areas
It never hurts to double down on protecting your company’s precious files. So, for instance, in addition to improving security with better locks, you might also consider storing cabinets in areas of the office building that also require special access to enter. Keeping important files in a locked cabinet behind a locked door increases the security two-fold.
Know Your Cabinet Type
We recommend storing valuable paperwork and items in special cabinets and/or safes. Look for “burglary-rated” products to really enhance the security of the items in question. Also, many consumers are fooled into thinking that cabinets and products rated as “fire safe” are actually more secure. That’s not true. Fire safe cabinets are designed to keep contents safe in the event of a fire, they’re not designed to prevent theft.
Get Rid of the Key Number
Most desks and cabinets have key numbers engraved or written on them so that spare keys can easily be ordered in the event that they’re lost. That also means that anyone can potentially order these spare keys, which can be a problem.
Switching a Filing Cabinet Lock
Like we mentioned in the previous section, swapping out a filing cabinet lock for a new, better one can be a DIY job for those that know what they’re doing. Here’s a quick rundown on how to do it using either a pair of pliers or a wrench:
- Step 1: Open up the cabinet so that you have access to the lock core. You might even consider removing the respective filing cabinet drawer so that you have plenty of room to work.
- Step 2: Ensure that the core is in the “unlocked” position and then, depending on the type of core, reach for a wrench or pair of pliers. Using the respective tool, remove either the clip or the nut.
- Step 3: Remove the core and replace it with the new one.
- Step 4: Retrieve the wrench or pair of pliers and either push the new core into the slot or screw the nut back in.
- Step 5: Replace the cabinet drawer and test the lock to see if it works properly.
While it seems simple enough, it’s important for companies to get the lock swap process completed correctly and get it completed quickly so business isn’t disrupted and productivity stays in check. On that note, many offices pass this task off to the professionals to ensure that the job is done right.
Contact Us Today
For more information on how to best protect your office cabinets and desks, and for information on changing desk and cabinet locks, reach out to Great Valley Lockshop at 610-644-5334 or fill out a service request.