Table of contents

Clear screen and desk

There are many helpful policies and best practices that improve Ministry of Justice (MoJ) safety and security.

Note: In addition to this advice in this document, you should review and follow the guidance in the remote working guidance, for example thinking before you print.

Related information

Security in the office

Clear screen

Users shall comply with the following:

  • MoJ equipment shall not be left logged on when unattended. Users shall ensure that password-protected screensavers are activated when any equipment is left unattended.
  • Computer screens shall be angled away from the view of unauthorised persons.
  • Computer security locks shall be set to activate when there is no activity for a short pre-determined period of time. This timeout should be set to 5 minutes, by default. The screen lock can be manually activated when required.
  • Computer security locks shall require passwords to be re-entered to reactivate the computer.
  • Desktops and laptops should be shutdown if you expect to be away from them for more than half an hour.
  • Users shall log off or lock their computers when they leave the room.

A best practice is to keep your screen ‘desk top’ tidy:

  • Avoid leaving files on your desk top where the name might attract attention. For example, having a file on your desk top called MyPasswords.docx is a bad idea, for several reasons!
  • Avoid having files or information labelled Sensitive displayed or stored on your desk top.

Clear desk

Users shall comply with the following:

  • Where possible, paper and computer media shall be stored in suitable locked safes, cabinets or other forms of security furniture when not in use, particularly outside working hours.
  • Where lockable safes, filing cabinets, drawers, cupboards, or similar secure storage areas are not available, doors shall be locked if rooms are left unattended. At the end of each session all Official and Official-Sensitive information shall be removed from the work place and stored in a locked area.
  • When handling Official documents security shall follow the requirements laid down in the Government Classification Scheme (GCS).
  • Official or Official-Sensitive information, when printed, should be cleared from printers immediately.

Think before you print.

It is good practice to lock all rooms and office areas when they are not in use.

Information left on desks is also more likely to be damaged or destroyed in a disaster such as fire or flood.

Contact details

For any further questions or advice relating to security, contact:


If you have any questions or comments about this guidance, such as suggestions for improvements, please contact: