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Are you a digital hoarder?  

3rd May 2024
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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Many people tend to keep too many digital files, storing them in messy folders or leaving them on their desktops because they worry they might need them later. This habit of collecting lots of digital files, often unnecessary, is known as digital hoarding. It's easy to end up with a large number of files that aren't needed anymore. Among these, some files could contain sensitive information about other people, like colleagues or customers. Keeping too many files without organising them can lead to problems, not just with finding things quickly but also with keeping important information safe. 

Risks associated with digital hoarding 

  • Slows down devices: Too many files can fill up storage, making devices slower and less responsive. 
  • Difficult to find files: With digital clutter, locating specific documents becomes a time-consuming and frustrating task. 
  • Risks personal and sensitive information: Unorganised storage of files, especially those containing details about colleagues or customers, can increase the risk of this information being accidentally shared or lost. 
  • Decreases efficiency and productivity: A cluttered digital space makes it harder to complete tasks efficiently, as more time is spent navigating through unnecessary files.  

How can cloud-based software help? 

Cloud-based software, including bookkeeping software, practice management software, payroll systems, and more, can be a real game-changer in combating digital hoarding. Here's how:   

  • Centralised storage: These cloud solutions provide a single, organised place for all your documents and data. This means you can say goodbye to scattered files across different devices. 
  • Automated organisation: Many cloud software options automatically categorise and store documents based on their type or content, making it easier to keep things tidy without extra effort. 
  • Easy access and sharing: With cloud software, you can access your files from anywhere, anytime, reducing the need to save multiple copies. Plus, sharing documents is straightforward, eliminating the need to keep redundant files for sharing purposes.   

Cloud software comes with robust security measures to protect sensitive information, such as customer details in payroll or client information in practice management systems. This means you can securely store important documents and information without risking privacy breaches. 

Reduces redundancy: By using cloud-based systems, duplicate files are less of an issue since these platforms can identify and manage multiple instances of the same document, ensuring only one version exists at any time. 

How long should you keep your client data before disposing of it? 

As per the guidelines of the UK GDPR, there is no mandatory requirement for the retention period of personal data. However, it is your responsibility to justify holding the data based on the purposes. It is highly recommended to review the personal data at the end of a standard retention period and delete any information that you or the company no longer require. Moreover, we have included some tips below to help you safely delete your client's data. Please refer to the ICO  for further information. 

  • Identify all sources where your client's personal information may be stored, including chat logs, CRM databases, and emails. 
  • Ensure compliance with UK GDPR and EU laws. Inform customers when their data is deleted upon request.  
  • Regularly assessing the data your company handles and securely destroying unnecessary data ensures adherence to government guidelines and the protection of customer information. 

To learn more about Bright’s suite of cloud-based software for accountants and how they can help you stop digital hoarding, book your free demo today. 

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Written by David Shalvey | Bright 

 

 

 

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