Confidential information is one of your business’s most important assets whether it’s the secret herbs and spices recipe or the business and marketing plan and pricing structure. It is very important to protect your confidential information and it might not be as safe as you think.
Employees only have a duty to keep confidential information confidential during their employment. After their employment has finished then they only have a common law duty to keep trade secrets confidential. It might surprise you that confidential information and trade secrets are two different levels of confidential. It is really important therefore to ensure you have extra protection in the contracts of employment to provide contractual protection for information that is sensitive and important but does not meet the level of trade secret.
When you are sharing your confidential information with other businesses, may be because you are looking to collaborate, you are pitching for work or looking to sell your business it is really important to have in place a confidentiality agreement or a non-disclosure agreement.
There are also some practical steps you can take safe guard your confidential information:
● Mark it as confidential or if it’s really confidential as “trade secret”
● Password protect it, lock it in a drawer, limit access to it – treat it as confidential
● Only share it with those who actually need to know it
● Have in place confidentiality agreements
For more information contact Hannah Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org or Courtney Hawkins at email@example.com