Every business has a responsibility to destroy confidential information. Are your organization’s shredding and destruction practices up to par? In this blog, we offer several helpful guidelines to follow when destroying documents and digital media.
Destroy Documents and Data on Time
Destroying information before it reaches its final disposition date can have legal repercussions, but keeping information too long also has consequences, including increased exposure to identity theft and business fraud. Learn retention periods and final disposition dates for your documents and data—and follow them.
Make Routine Shredding a Habit
Routine document shredding eliminates paper clutter and prevents privacy breaches. Unfortunately, the onus of document destruction is placed on your employees or staff. Shredding even a few files can take several minutes, especially if it clogs the shredder. Staples and paperclips must be removed from documents before they’re shredded, resulting in more time spent destroying documents and less time focusing on core business tasks.
A scheduled shredding service allows better use of your staff’s time and resources. Your shedding partner places locked collection containers in your office. Employees deposit outdated paperwork in a container without having to remove paperclips and staples. On a weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly schedule, the containers are emptied and your information is professionally destroyed.
Know State and Federal Privacy Laws
Several federal regulations, including HIPAA, FACTA, SOX, and GLB, mandate secure disposal of personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). Non-compliance with these laws and various state and local regulations can result in fines and penalties. Familiarize yourself each privacy law affecting your organization and its specific information disposal requirements.
Educate Your Employees
Knowledgeable employees are the cornerstone of an effective information destruction program. Conduct ongoing employee training sessions that discuss privacy threats, compliance requirements, and best practices. If needed, seek support from a qualified expert. A paper shredding and data destruction provider can offer training sessions that highlight data destruction and document shredding best practices.
Shred Before Recycling
Never discard confidential documents in a recycling bin. Unlike shredding companies, recyclers aren’t responsible for maintaining the privacy of your documents. A qualified shredding vendor destroys your documents first and then recycles the shredded waste.
Use a Professional Shred Service
A professional shredding service eliminates negligent document disposal practices. Your documents are picked up and shredded on-site at your business or off-site at a shredding plant. After shredding, you receive a Certificate of Destruction to prove your compliance with state and federal privacy laws.