Office Document Strategies Blog

Password Protected Files Got You Down - Try Document Management

Posted by Lee Kirkby on Mon, Jun 4, 2012 @ 08:06 AM

Password Protected Files Got You Down  Try Document ManagementOne of my clients in Hamilton asked me for a solution for a problem she is having.  Her difficulty is that she has a large number of electronic files which she needs to keep secure and therefore she password protects the files when she creates them.  This becomes a problem as the number of files increases and she says she also always forgets the passwords she uses.  At the present time she does not have access to a document management system to solve her problem.

Group Files For Security:

There are a few suggestions I can make using the Windows file structure which could help.  The first is not to protect individual files but to put them into a folder in Windows which is password protected.  This could group the files and make it easier to organize.

Create a Secured Folder:

The next level would be to have the system administrator for your network create a protected folder on the network which is only accessible through your login.  This makes a more secure file location which is protected from unauthorized users.

Both of these solutions can be put into place using the standard windows filing system.  The weakness of this system is the naming conventions it forces and the foldering structure itself becomes cumbersome as your electronic file store grows.

Document Management as a Solution:

My preferred recommendation for her is to consider a structured document management system that can handle her electronic files and her paper files in one system.

Every document management system I have reviewed includes within it various tools for file and record security.  Some offer specific security structures based upon logins and index designs.  One system I have worked with, File360, offers up to 1000 levels of document level security.  Designing such a system on your own would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, so only through a well designed document storage tool will you get this kind of security if you need it.

For most users a simpler security protocal is ok.  With the SentryFile document management system a security structure which matches with a filing cabinet focused design works well.  This is a fairly simple design but one which could meet my client's desire.  It could offer the ability to store her documents in a 'cabinet' which is secured to only permit herself or other authorized persons to access the documents.  Meanwhile it can permit other advanced features like revision control, multiple field index searching (no need to remember the exact document name to find things), wild card searches and many more tools.  I know there are other document management systems which could do similar things and meet the need described.

With this type of solution you can have the whole file storage structure matched to your office network login so you do not have to remember a bunch of passwords for your individual or groups of documents.

Just one more way that a designed, managed document file system can make daily life in your office easier.

Do you struggle securing confidential documents?  Are passwords for documents making you crazy?

Share your thoughts below....

Lee K

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Topics: document filing, document storage strategy, document management, Document, office document strategy, paper filing