In today’s high-tech world, confidentiality is more difficult than ever. Our personal and public lives are intertwined in so many places thanks to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. It can be very hard to tell where work ends and your personal life begins.

However, if you are in a trusted position in your company, then you must be able to draw that line. In the past, confidentiality was simple. Someone told you a secret, and then you did not tell. You made sure that it remained quiet at the workplace, and while you might have told your spouse or a best friend about it if it was preying on your mind, it never left your home and dinner table.

Today, however, you do not have the luxury of confiding confidential information to much of anyone. Thanks to the internet, a single misplaced word can spread like wildfire until that information is everywhere. As a result, the ability to keep things confidential is much harder to develop – and more highly prized than ever before by employers.

Here are a few things to think about when you are dealing with confidential information:

•    The shredder does not begin to cover it
If you deal with personal, confidential information on a regular basis then you must not only destroy hard evidence, but you need a secure, coded server that will protect that information from hackers and other people who might use it for malicious intent like stealing identities.

•    Never discuss confidential information via email
Email is not secure. Period. You have no control over where it goes once it leaves your computer screen, and it is not difficult for a skilled hacker to access emails and remove personal information. Never email social security numbers, credit card numbers or any other personal information. Also, remember that most emails are not actually inaccessible once they are deleted. At the very least, you will have to  empty your trash, and you may need to contact the email system to have deleted emails removed permanently from the records.

•    Watch your mouth
It used to be that you could sit down and have a cup of tea with a girlfriend and hash over the events of the day at the office. If that rundown includes confidential information, however, you could end up fired. For example, one woman’s well-meaning friend made a reference to a problem at work in a posting. Another person from the office read it and told several others about the issue. The woman was eventually fired for breach of confidence because she exposed information that was supposed to be confidential. Now, you must keep your friends and confidants offline.