Whether It’s Paper or Digital, Protect Your Assets

Whether It’s Paper or Digital, Protect Your Assets

Despite our best efforts to create a greener footprint in our offices, the fact of the matter is paper is never going to go away. There are plenty of digital filing systems that can greatly reduce the amount of paper we accumulate, but whether you rely solely on paper or have a combination of both paper and digital files, the bottom line is this information in all of its forms should be secure.

On the plus side, reduced paper usage means being more organized, as there are fewer items to keep track of. Using hosted storage or on-site external hard drive storage to track documents and keep electronic copies is a great way to free up physical space and keep everything streamlined, byte by byte.

The downside of going paperless is the matter of security; this is still a common issue when dealing with digital files, and many computers are still subject to malware and viruses. In these instances, legal or healthcare offices may still opt to use the paper they so rely on for security purposes, however, in spite of these cons, technology is still ever evolving and security is becoming much more reliable.

Despite technological advances, the average American still uses the equivalent of a 100-foot Douglas fir tree each year, according to the EPA. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. Collectively, that’s 4 million tons of copy paper used in one year in the U.S. alone.

Regardless of what document storage method you use, sensitive information on paper is the same as sensitive information on a computer. Both need to be protected from unauthorized access or disclosure and should be treated with caution and discretion.

Examples of sensitive information include names combined with social security numbers (SSN) and/or account numbers, or if you work in healthcare, sensitive information includes treatment, diagnoses, and medication information.

Always track or log your files and their usage; know the creator, user, what kinds of information are stored in the files, and be sure to keep these documents in a secure location. Physical access to electronic records should be limited to trustworthy employees and always keep a log of who has access to what. Personnel offices should avoid printing SSN unless required by law or unavoidable business related need.

When you operate on a paper system, the storage area where you keep files on customers should be locked at night. Additionally, it should be in an area where the public cannot accidentally wander into it.

For digital files, there are strong encryption systems that are worth paying extra for because it is protecting your business and your business relationships.

As a business, you have the responsibility to protect the private information of your customers and your employees. When you no longer require paper documents or digital files, you should consider hiring a professional document destruction company like Legal Shred.

Not only does paper shredding give you peace of mind that your information is being properly handled, it protects your company’s sensitive documents right up to the second they are destroyed. What’s more, our hard drive destruction services ensure that confidential and highly sensitive data is uncompromised.

Legal Shred offers the most secure, convenient and cost-effective methods for destroying and recycling confidential documents and materials. Call for a quote today.

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