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Automotive Dealerships, Should You Shred That?

Automotive Dealerships, Should You Shred That?

The very concept of an automotive dealership is to encourage the sale or lease of vehicles and this requires that they collect a lot of private and personal customer information. The sheer volume of documents that can be found in an average automotive dealership has been the cause for the development of many state and federal compliance laws for the handling, storage, and proper disposal of this sensitive information. In a busy dealership the number of documents can quickly add up, requiring that they be shredded. Deciding which papers should be shredded and when does not have to be a daunting task.

Identifying the Priority Confidential Documents

Working with customers requires that an automotive dealership collect information that is required by law to be safeguard. This data can include customer:

However, as a business, an automotive dealership also has important internal documents that may need to be shredded such as:

Creating a Schedule for Shredding

Management should include a decision on scheduling document shredding as part of their GLB Safeguards rule security plan. Shredding should be done by a licensed and certified disposal company such as Healthcare Waste Management that ensures complete shredding so that the documents are unrecognizable and unusable. The types of documents should be identified, segregated in a secure storage area, and made available in secure containers for pickup and shredding. Many automotive dealerships maintain an approach for shredding of both paper and digital formats that are no longer relevant, have reached end-of-life cycles, and/or may be securely stored elsewhere.

Employee Training

Compliance with the laws require that all employees be trained on the priority of the safety and security of all confidential data. The training must include taking steps to make sure that no documents or digital devices are ever exposed to view by others and are handled and stored securely. Additional steps may be needed to supply employees with secure lockup areas for digital devices that contain sensitive information and locked cabinets or containers for documents in use and for those that will need to be shredded. Employees should be given this training, including some of the details on the various laws for information protection prior to being hired and on an annual basis.

Consumer Education

Customers expect an automotive dealership to keep their private information secure, and many will be more apt to do business with a dealer that takes extra steps in ensuring this practice. Beyond just the legal issues that are required, communicating the level of security priority to the consumer is another way to remind them of the importance of maintaining privacy for their safety. This conversation can increase consumer awareness and open a dialogue for a focus on the protection an automotive dealership takes against hackers and identity thieves.


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