In today’s electronically-oriented world, we keep many important records in digital form. We go to great lengths to protect our digital files. We password-protect our computers and encrypt individual computer folders and files. Yet many people still rely on flimsy file cabinet locks to keep prying eyes away from sensitive papers. These locks prevent drawers from opening, but they are weak and picking a file cabinet lock is very easy. Anyone who wants to get into that cabinet can do so in less than 30 seconds with minimal skill. When you have sensitive or confidential paper files, you need a better system to secure file cabinets.
There are many industries that keep sensitive information on paper. At some point, much of this data ends up scanned and stored electronically. However, when projects are current, people still create a lot of paper documentation. In some industries, such as the medical profession, there are privacy laws, like HIPAA, on the books that govern confidentiality. Examples of businesses that need to be concerned about file security include:
Many businesses need to protect confidential information from random access by unauthorized people. In some cases, file access is restricted to one or two people located in a particular office. In these cases, if you lock the office door when no one is inside, then a solid lock on the file cabinet drawers is enough. However, what if the file cabinets are in a higher-traffic area, or you grant access to a larger group of people? Then, it may be important to keep a record of who is accessing the file cabinet and when. For an audit trail like that, you need to install an electronic lock that recognizes individual users and makes a record of each access.
Medeco manufactures some of the best locks on the market. They have a wonderful key control system and they are well made. Medeco cabinet locks come in a variety of styles and come standard on FireKing file cabinets.
The Simplex 9621C29-26D-41 Cross-Throw lockis a good choice if you are looking for a mechanical lock with a combination instead of a key. Because it has 5 buttons instead of three, the available possibilities for combinations is much higher. This lock only allows one combination to be active at a time, although you can change that at any time.
If you need to keep a record of who is accessing files and when, you need an access control system for your files. An example of this is the RCI cabinet lock that uses access cards. Since each card has a unique code, it is easy to tell who accesses the files. These locks can include monitoring services so you get an alert when someone opens a cabinet or drawer.
For an added layer of protection, you can add file cabinet locking bars to the exterior of your cabinets. These are metal bars that fit vertically over all the drawers in your file cabinet. You secure them with a padlock. Because of this design, locking bars are probably best for files you don’t often access, or for use when the office is not open. The Abus file cabinet locking bar is hinged so when it is unlocked, it swings free of the drawers without being removed from the cabinet, which is a plus for easier use.
Secure filing cabinets require correct installation and reinforcement. If you are spending money on high security filing cabinet locks, it pays to have a professional locksmith install them.