American companies lose about $25 billion annually to corporate espionage.
Here’s how to tighten the lid on proprietary information:
Send a message. Keep trade secrets under wraps. Examples: Stamp “confidential” on key memos or financial exhibits, limit the number of people who get copies and keep a list of those privy to such information.
Educate departing employees. When your workers leave, explain trade-secret rules. Use exit interviews to collect all work-related materials from outgoing employees, including downloaded computer files and copies of licensed software.
Some workers might take stuff that they deem personal, such as minutes from meetings they chaired or product modifications they designed, not realizing you have a legal right to it.
Publicize your policy. As part of a regular compliance program, train employees on your corporate policy about protecting trade secrets. Teach them to use discretion when circulating confidential information or discussing delicate matters over a cell phone.