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The trade secrets of your company are the backbone of the business. Keeping these secrets protected is something that is necessary unless you want to support your competitors.

The first thing that you need to do is to identify exactly what is included in the trade secrets category. As you go through information, remember that your trade secrets are things that can't be public knowledge. Instead, these are bits of information that must be kept confidential. Think of the seasonings recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken. This would be considered a trade secret.

Once you identify the trade secrets in your organization, you have to determine the best way that you can keep them safe. This will depend largely on how the trade secret is recorded. If it is digital, you need to make sure that it is in a secure and encrypted file that only trusted people have access to. If it is on paper, you need it in some sort of locked safe.

You must make it clear to employees that have access to the trade secrets that they must keep them confidential. Oftentimes, these employees will need to sign a nondisclosure or confidentiality agreement so that you have the legal backing to take action if the person violates the agreement.

If you do find out that your trade secrets have been leaked, you might decide that you are going to take legal action. It is possible to seek compensation for the issue through the civil court system. This might help you to recover the financial damages you are dealing with because of the leaked information.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration, "5 Steps for Protecting Your Trade Secrets," Barbara Weltman, accessed Sep. 20, 2017

The author's opinions expressed in this article are strictly his/her own and should not be attributed to any others, including other attorneys at Klein DeNatale Goldner or the law firm as a whole.