Practical steps to protect information not only reduce risk but improve your prospects of enforcing protective clauses in court, if necessary.
- clearly label confidential information as such
- restrict access to confidential information and circulate only as needed
- secure physical and electronic documents by using locked cabinets, offices, password protection and encryption
When dealing with third parties, consider using a Non-disclosure agreement that can act one-way or both ways. You can also use a Letter of confidentiality.
Stop employees from storing contacts and any business information on external sites such as LinkedIn, as this makes information harder to protect. Consider doing this using a Social media policy.
Don’t breach an employee’s employment contract (eg by making a PILON without the contractual right to do so), as this can remove your right to enforce the contract.
Act fast if you discover an ex-employee has breached confidential information restrictions (or other post-employment restrictions), as delaying may mean you lose the right to an 'injunction', which is a court order preventing further breaches.