Your business’ intellectual property is often what makes it unique. Whether it is a trademark or a patented idea, you want to protect this property in any way possible. For things like trademarks, copyrights and patents, there is a formal filing process by which you can secure protection.
However, trade secrets do not have the same option for protection. Your trade secret only has protection if you keep it a secret. Once it becomes public knowledge, you lose all protection for it. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce explains that because you lose protection if an unauthorized person discovers it, it is up to you to ensure you protect any trade secrets your business has.
Limit who has access
One of the best ways to protect your trade secrets is to limit who has access to the information. It should not be something readily available to all employees. Even higher-level employees do not necessarily need to know it. By letting only a few trusted individuals have access, you will do a lot to keep it safe.
Insist on nondisclosure agreements
Even by limiting access, you still want to take things a step further. Initiate a nondisclosure agreement for any person that has access to the trade secret. This type of agreement creates a legal obligation for the person to keep it a secret.
Monitor the secret
You should always know who is accessing the trade secret information. Have ways to monitor who accesses it and how they use it. Make sure that you protect it with unique passwords or codes so that there is no doubt who is accessing it and so that only those with permission do so.