Why a Document Destruction Policy Is Crucial

A document destruction policy is crucial to safeguarding your information. Here’s why.

As business owners and consumers, we’ve amassed plenty of paperwork that can be complicated to track and file. The digital age has certainly made it easier for us to retain records and as much as we’d like to toss it all in the trash, the curb is not the safest place to dispose of your documents.

A document destruction policy simplifies the process of disposing paper; where there might be confusion over what to throw out versus what to shred. A document destruction policy is all-encompassing, meaning no matter what files you need to get rid of, your best course of action is to have it professionally shredded.

For businesses, when it comes to files such as trade secrets and product designs, the last place you want to toss overruns and ideas is in the trash. Once your trash hits the curb, it becomes public domain, and competitors would love nothing more than to take your ideas and run with them. Beyond proprietary information, there’s also tax records to consider, as well as employee files, customer receipts, bank statements, and more. All of these documents contain sensitive information that can put you, your employees, and your customers at risk if compromised.

Consider this: according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, dumpster diving for improperly disposed media is a huge source of illicit information that put businesses and clients at risk. Of course, dumpster diving isn’t exclusive to digital media. Any and all sensitive information that is placed in the trash is susceptible to theft.

One of the simplest ways to protect your identity, whether it’s business or personal, is to implement a document destruction policy.

It behooves businesses to take security seriously, as it is an obligation to preserve information relating to customer and employee privacy, audits, and company files. Records should stored in a safe and secure manner. Documents and financial files that are essential to the operation of an organization should be duplicated and backed up regularly, and maintained in locked storage cabinets or securely on the cloud.

When planning a document destruction policy, ask:

  • What should be removed?
  • What should never be removed?
  • When should they be removed?
  • Who removes them?

Let Legal Shred be the “who” in your document destruction policy. We protect our customers by providing secure paper shredding and hard drive destruction under federal and state destruction laws. More than 40 Federal laws mandate that all business, healthcare, and financial institutions protect the confidential information of their clientele and employees. Does your document destruction policy include this? Legal Shred can help you stay compliant. Contact us today!

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