The processes and products that separate one business from the competition are often quite valuable. Business owners therefore want to be sure that they protect the features that set them apart and give them an edge over their competitors.

There are numerous ways California business owners can do this. We discuss a few approaches in this post, though you are encouraged to discuss all your options with an experienced attorney to protect information.

Protecting it from unauthorized employees

Sensitive information is not necessarily something that needs to be shared with or accessible to every employee, especially in large companies with hundreds of employees. As such, you can protect this information from improper access by keeping a list of authorized users and making sure the information cannot be shared without permission. Placing strong passwords on the material can also be crucial.

Protecting it from competitors

To keep confidential information or trade secrets from competing entities, you can utilize non-disclosure agreements (commonly known as a “NDA”) or confidentiality agreements with employees. When properly drafted, these clauses can prevent employees from sharing protected information with other companies should they leave your company.

Protecting it from the public

In addition to the measures mentioned above, business owners can protect information from the public by examining the options for securing a patent, copyright or trademark on appropriate materials to prevent misuse. It can also be wise to pursue alternatives to litigation in the event of a dispute to prevent details about your business from going on the public records.

These and other measures can ensure your business retains ownership and control over the elements of your company that allow you to stay competitive.

However, if these measures fail or if a party violates them, you may have grounds to take legal action. Doing so may not undo the harm that has been done, but it can hold the appropriate party liable and allow you to recover financial damages.