Holiday Time Highlights Data Protection For You and Your Business
With the holiday season upon us, businesses are busy wrapping up year-end paperwork and preparing for the new fiscal year. Of course, the holidays also mean staff vacations, and less staff means more for you to do. It’s important for business owners to be mindful of the data they keep amidst the business of the holidays, and this is when proper planning goes a long way.
The holidays also mean issues with data security; as businesses focus on document destruction, it’s often over-looked what to keep and what to toss, not to mention that executives who are pressed for time may take shortcuts in making room in the filing cabinets. Holiday time is prime time for data-seeking thieves who can rummage through your dumpsters, taking sensitive documents off your hands and using it to their advantage through identity theft and other illegal use of said information. Though this time of year is probably the busiest for businesses, it’s not a time to rest on your laurels when it comes to securing data and disposing of old documents properly.
How can you safeguard your business through the hustle and bustle of closing out the year?
Don’t let vacation time open your staff up to breaches.
If you have a specific set of staff with access to sensitive documents, prepare for their time off and make sure that covering staff carry the same security clearance. Review your practices and have a system in place to handle and destroy old documents.
Purge regularly and often.
Relying on a professional document destruction company like Legal Shred mitigates the need to hold onto your old documents. With routine service, you can focus on the office festivities and plan your staff vacations accordingly without the worry of documents falling into the wrong hands.
Review what to keep and what to toss.
Not sure what documents you need to keep and which to toss? Here are some guidelines: if you have employees, the IRS suggests that all employment tax records be retained for at least 4 years after the date which the taxes were due or were paid, but only for whichever is later.
For ledgers, there is a mixed professional opinion on how long to keep these. While there are many tax officials who will lean towards keeping these permanently, for supporting documentation, like accounts payable and receivables, these should be kept for a minimum of 7 years. Canceled checks should be kept for the same amount of time.
As for bank records and other financial statements, 7 years is also the suggested amount of time to keep a physical copy.
If you’re unsure, check with your tax professionals and local governments for more specific timeframes as they pertain to your business.
Legal Shred can help you streamline your document destruction needs with our routine services. With routine document destruction from Legal Shred, there are no contracts and billing is automatic. Routine schedules are also flexible; you can set up a weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly schedule, whatever frequency that you need to keep your office or home organized and free of unnecessary paper clutter.
Legal Shred is certified with NAID (National Association of Information Destruction), so you know that your job will be handled properly and with the utmost care.
Call us for a quote today and let us help you enjoy this holiday season.