6 Shredding and Destruction Mistakes to Avoid

A stack of sticky note pads on a wooden desk. The top sticky note says, "COMMON MISTAKES!"Information disposal is crucial to a solid records management program. However, many companies make mistakes when disposing of their documents and data. Here are several mistakes to avoid:

1. Using a Paper Shredder

Consider the steps it takes to shred your documents with an office shredder:

  1. Remove paperclips, staples, sticky notes, cardstock and file folder or binder
  2. Separate the document into easily-shredded portions
  3. Feed the paper into the shredder
  4. Empty the shredding receptacle
  5. Clean up spilled bits of shredded material

After all this work, your shredded paper ends up in the dumpster where anyone can steal it. Don’t make the mistake of shredding documents with an office shredder. Hire a professional shredding and destruction company instead. Your documents are shredded in half the time with incomparable security.

2. Keeping Documents and Data for Too Long

You’re not the only one who keeps documents and data too long; many business owners are guilty of information hoarding. But keeping expired records too long increases privacy breach risks and can even lead to legal problems. When your documents and media reach their final disposition date, destroy them.

3. Just Destroying Paper

Privacy protection isn’t just for paper. Confidential information, regardless of format, needs to be disposed of in a secure and prompt manner. Include old storage media and digital devices in your information destruction policy.

4. Ignoring Shredding and Destruction Laws

State and federal privacy laws require secure destruction of personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI). Ignoring HIPAA, FACTA, GLBA and state requirements may cause civil suits, costly litigation, and monetary fines. So, when your information reaches mandated destruction dates, destroy it at once.

5. Failing to Document Time and Date of Destruction

Many privacy laws also require documentation of the time and date of destruction. Partnering with a shredding and destruction company helps your organization fulfill this requirement. Each time they destroy your information, you receive a Certificate of Destruction.

6. Not Choosing a NAID AAA Certified Shredding and Destruction Company

There’s no shortage of shredding and destruction companies, but not all are NAID AAA Certified. The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is an international, non-profit association that sets for the information destruction industry. NAID AAA Certified information destruction companies must pass ongoing audits by third-party security professionals. When you use a NAID AAA Certified shredding and destruction company, you’re always assured an information destruction solution offering uncompromising security, ethics and quality.

When shredding your documents and destroying your data, don’t make these mistakes.

Richards & Richards offers NAID AAA Certified document shredding and media destruction services for businesses throughout Nashville. For more information, please call us at 615-242-9600 or complete the form on this page.

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