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Document Destruction for Businesses: A Complete Guide



June 17, 2021



Home » Document Destruction » Document Destruction for Businesses: A Complete Guide

Document Destruction for Businesses: A Complete Guide

You work hard to protect your business. Do not let your documents get into the wrong hands. It is not a topic that many people like to think about, but if you are a business owner, it is important to have a document destruction policy. Having a thorough destruction process in place is necessary for any business, and it is the only way to ensure that your confidential information will remain safe. Here are the steps to ensure your documents are destroyed in a timely and efficient manner.

Why Document Destruction?

Let us start by understanding why you need to have a document destruction process in place. According to CIS World, “Companies that have a document destruction program in place are up to 50% less likely to have a breach,” than companies that do not. A major data breach can be devastating to your business. The process of document destruction is also crucial to the cybersecurity of your company. Companies in the document destruction industry call this process, “the digital coffin,” as it helps ensure that your company has a paper trail of what you have destroyed and what documents should be destroyed.

The Dangers of Not Destroying Documents

There are many reasons why it is important to destroy your documents. These include the following: When you deal with customers and business associates, you could be putting your company’s confidential information at risk. In a data breach situation, your business could be left open to a lawsuit. If a competitor finds your confidential information, they could obtain it and use it against you. Avoid costly lawsuits, and keep your business going in the right direction. Take the steps to destroy your business documents and save yourself the trouble and money. Disposing of documents by using a shredding service is vital.

How to Destroy Documents

Consider state regulations, your state has laws regarding the destruction of documents. Generally speaking, the law requires you to destroy documents that contain confidential customer or employee information. However, if you use computers or other digital equipment, and all your information is stored in this computer, your state has nonspecific legal requirements for the destruction of the computer. If you do not follow the requirements, you may be required to pay hefty fines to your state and clients. There are also separate regulations for health-related information under HIPAA.

Employees must be aware that confidential records must be destroyed in accordance with the law. Individuals working for your company, must abide by company policies. Employees should also know that any employee who knowingly handles confidential records without your knowledge or consent, including taking them home or accessing them without authorization, could face criminal prosecution. For example, although it may seem a minor infraction, accessing company records, especially personal documents like applications or social security numbers, could result in criminal prosecution or be grounds for termination.

6 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Document Shredding Service

As an organization grows, it becomes necessary to keep up with the task of destroying old documents. It is a task that must be taken seriously, because if you do not do it, you could be fined and even prosecuted. Below are 6 reasons why you need to find a professional document shredding service provider ASAP:

Reason 1: Growing Organizations Face a Mound of Documents

If your organization is growing, then the number of documents that you must shred is also growing. The key to successful document shredding is to have a retention and destruction policy in place. Your data security needs to be protected by shredding sensitive documents, you are not only protecting your company from a potential breach, but you are also making sure that the information that you have is secure. The reason why people tend to believe that you need to be incredibly careful with their sensitive data is because you do, and they do not know how your company is setup to protect it. It is not an easy job, but if you get yourself a document shredding service, you will be well on your way.

Reason 2: Once Documents are Too Old, They Lose Their Relevance

The ultimate reason for why you need a document shredding service is that you want to keep outdated paperwork out of your custody. In addition, if you are storing documents that have other people’s sensitive information on it, you do not want to keep those documents any longer than the laws require. Your best bet is to hire a service that specializes in shredding documents. You will be able to save a lot of money, hassle, and headaches by have a records retention policy in place and hiring a professional shredding service.

Reason 3: You are at Risk of Getting Fined for Not Shredding Documents

When you hire a document shredding service, they will take care of the shredding of your documents. After that, you will not have to worry about the legal trouble that you might face for not shredding the documents on time. By hiring a professional Document Shredding Service, you will ensure the documents are destroyed correctly and beyond recognition. You will not be responsible for the data any longer and you will receive a Certificate of Destruction of all the documents that were destroyed.

Reason 4: You Could get Prosecuted if Your Company Does Not Shred Documents On-Time

There are certain documents that are considered confidential and thus are required to be handled with a great amount of care. The most common of such documents include healthcare information, banking documents, social security numbers, birth certificates and tax forms. Most organizations are required to have these documents shredded for after the proper retention period so that you can maintain the confidentiality of the same. These documents can contain personal information that could harm the individual or company and should be destroyed properly. If you do not shred them, you could be fined, which means that there is the likelihood that you will have to take the issue up in a civil lawsuit or depending on the situation, even a criminal matter.

Reason 5: Shredding Documents Will Reduce the Risk of Identity Theft

The hacking scandal of Target, the leak of thousands of phone calls of ordinary citizens, the Sony scandal, etc., demonstrate the seriousness of the issue of identity theft. Having documents at hand, that contain personally identifiable information (PII), poses a serious risk to individuals and companies, especially those in the US. Why should you take a serious risk? It has been proven that your PII, such as your name, address, birthdate, and Social Security Number (SSN), can be used to create a fake document, which can be used to commit fraud and/or identity theft. Why should you hire a document shredding service provider? They are trained professionals, who have experience in destroying confidential information.

Reason 6: It is the Responsible Thing to Do

Shredding old documents is the responsible thing to do. When people and companies place their trust in you to handle their confidential information you have an obligation to ensure that data does not end up in the wrong hands. Having an in-house shredder is not enough to protect that information. When you use SHREDDRS your shreds will be recycled, which is not only good for the environment, but adds another layer of security for your shredded materials.

Tips on Document Management

Documents are a necessary part of business, but that also means that they can be a security risk. Protect your company and clients by implementing a document management process, and make sure to follow these tips for document destruction.

What is Document Management?

For businesses of any size, documents play a major role in the work process. Each individual in a business is responsible in caring for customers data, whether creating business proposals, or planning to meet an important customer, there is a good chance you will have information that is not for public consumption with you. Other employees may have paperwork about personal salaries, accounting policies, DOB, SS#s and so on. Many of these documents could end up being something of value to a hacker. That is why it is important to hire a document management company, to help keep your systems secure and documents destroyed in a timely manner.

Why do you need Document Management?

A thorough document destruction process ensures that sensitive information will be destroyed properly and legally. Document destruction ensures that the destruction processes are considered and comply with all relevant laws, regulations, and codes. Whether it is destroying your paper documents or information that you receive, a well-managed destruction process is essential to avoid legal liabilities.

An effective document destruction policy is key to avoid potential fines, penalties, or liabilities.

The time to destroy documents is when the information is no longer necessary, and you have complied with the records retention policy for that type of document. If you need document destruction, you need to document ‘the destruction of the document’ in a specific and legal manner.

What are the Risks of Not Practicing Document Management?

A major concern for companies is documents that may contain information that poses a threat if breached to their customers or employees, and this includes personal information, confidential files, and company data. Luckily, you can mitigate this risk with proper document destruction management. Here are some great ways to eliminate the risk of security breaches in your document management process. Implement a Secure Document Delivery System for sensitive document management, is vital to the running of your business, but it’s also vital that your delivery system is documented by who, when and where the information was accessed. By implementing a secure document delivery system, you can save your business from costly lawsuits and document exposures.

What Document Management Procedures Should You Implement?

As a business owner, you will undoubtedly have a number of devices and computers that store documents. That means you have lots of documents that are of high value to your business that may become a target for theft or accidental damage. This leads to another problem, a lack of easy access to the information on your company’s devices. With all those documents in the hands of thieves, you could find your company subject to lawsuits. On the flip side, if your employees become sloppy and leave documents lying around, or if you need to shred documents, it can be difficult to determine if they are confidential or not. The solution to this problem is having a simple and robust document management process in place.

How Do You Destroy Documents?

You must keep track of how your documents are stored, destroyed, and returned. For example, you are having an accounting company meeting there will be financial information accessed and discussed in this meeting. Do you know every employee who was involved in putting the information together? Was it documented? Do you know if the information was returned and what happened to it after it was returned?

A simple solution to this scenario is. Identify all sensitive information in your business, setup a policy for documenting how, when, where, and why it was accessed and another policy for the return of the information. If it is an actual paper document, there should be documentation of what happened to it after it was returned, documenting the time and date it was returned and the time and date it was placed in the secured locked shredding console for destruction.

Conclusion

Getting a document shredding service like SHREDDRS (a HWM company) for your business is not only very convenient but also one of the safest ways of dealing with confidential documents. Call us today to discuss any of your shredding needs.


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