Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy and information security

Written by Ivar van Duuren

August 20, 2023

security island
When it comes to information security, there are several measures an organization can take to ensure that sensitive information remains secure. Two of these measures are the Clean Desk Policy and the Clear Screen Policy.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what these policies include and why they are so important for information security in the workplace.

Why is a Clean Desk Policy important?

A Clean Desk Policy is important because it contributes to an organized and efficient work environment. A tidy workplace makes it easy for employees to find what they need and this increases productivity. In addition, a clean workplace also contributes to the professional appearance of the company.

A Clean Desk Policy also helps ensure the privacy and security of sensitive information. By removing or storing documents and other physical materials when they are not in use, you reduce the risk of theft or unwanted access to confidential information.

Why is a Clear Screen Policy important?

A Clear Screen Policy is just as important as a Clean Desk Policy. Enforcing this policy ensures that computer and phone screens are locked or turned off when employees leave their workstations. This is essential to ensure data privacy and security.

An open or unsecured screen can inadvertently expose sensitive information to unauthorized parties. This leaves the company vulnerable to data breaches or cyber-attacks. A Clear Screen Policy ensures that employees are more aware of this risk and take responsibility for protecting company information.

Tips for implementing a Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy

1. Communicate clearly

Make sure all employees are aware of the Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy. Communicate regularly about the benefits and expectations surrounding these policies.

2. Offer training

Provide employees with training on how to organize their workstations and how to lock or disable their screens.

3. Make tidying up easy

Provide plenty of storage options, such as filing cabinets, drawers, and digital storage space. This allows employees to easily store items when not in use.

4. Motivate with rewards

Establish rewards for employees who consistently comply with the policy. This can range from small incentives to recognition within the company.

5. Monitor and enforce

Monitor policy compliance regularly and intervene when necessary. Make sure there are consequences for not following the policy.

6. Provide technical support

Make sure employees have the right tools to quickly lock or disable their screens. Consider hotkeys or automatic locking after a certain period of inactivity.

7. Involve management

Management should lead by example by maintaining a tidy workplace themselves and consistently adhering to policies.

8. Evaluate and improve

Regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the policy is essential. Gather feedback from employees and adjust where necessary to ensure continuous improvement.

9. Promote awareness

Organize awareness campaigns about the importance of the policy. Use posters, newsletters, or intranet to regularly remind employees of the policy.

10. Be flexible but clear

Adapt the policy to the specific needs of your organization, but make sure it is clear and enforceable.

Also read: Tips for creating information security policies


Implementing a Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy may take some getting used to for employees. But with proper communication, training, and support, it will contribute to better organization, productivity, and safety within your company.

A Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy are part of ISO 27001 – 2022 certification. This certification provides a solid framework for complying with all laws and regulations and taking data protection to the next level.

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