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Last Update: 19 Oct 2018
Version 8.1.2
Clear Desk Policy Clear Desk Policy

A policy of the organisation which directs all personnel to clear their desks at the end of each working day, and file everything appropriately. Desks should be cleared of all documents and papers, including the contents of the 'in' and 'out' trays!

The purpose of the Clear Desk Policy is to ensure that sensitive papers and documents are not exposed to unauthorized persons out of working hours.


The main reasons for a clean desk policy are:

PictureA clean desk can produce a positive image when our customers visit the company.

PictureIt reduces the threat of a security incident as confidential information will be locked away when unattended.

PictureSensitive documents left in the open can be stolen by a malicious entity.


All staff, employees and entities are subject to this policy.


  • At known extended periods away from your desk, such as a lunch break, sensitive working papers are expected to be placed in locked drawers.
  • At the end of the working day the employee is expected to tidy their desk and to put away all office papers.


  1. Allocate time in your calendar to clear away your paperwork.
  2. Always clear your workspace before leaving for longer periods of time. Go through the things on your desk to make sure you need them and what you don't need throw away.
  3. If in doubt - throw it out. If you are unsure of whether a duplicate piece of sensitive documentation should be kept - it will probably be better to place it in the shred bin.
  4. Consider scanning paper items and filing them electronically in your workstation.
  5. Lock your desk and filing cabinets at the end of the day.
  6. Lock away portable computing devices such as laptops or PDA devices.
  7. Treat mass storage devices such as CDROM, DVD or USB drives as sensitive and secure them in a locked drawer.