Important Processes for Destroying Confidential Information
Destroying confidential information is not an option—it’s a requirement. In addition to the obligation you have to protect the privacy of your employees and clients, you’re also responsible for following state and federal privacy protection laws. Having a secure process for destroying your confidential information saves your business time and money and reduces privacy breach risks.
The first step in destroying confidential information is identifying which documents no longer useful to your organization, or those you are not legally obligated to keep. Retention schedules provide a useful benchmark because they clearly define how long documents should be retained and when they should be destroyed. Documents reaching the end of a required retention period should be destroyed after a final review unless they are currently used in litigation processes.
In addition to saving space and providing enhanced security for your confidential information, a records storage service can help you keep up with retention schedules and allow archival documents to be destroyed on time. The retention destruction process works like this:
- Destruction dates are determined based on federal, state and local laws and regulations
- Retention data applicable to each file is entered into an inventory management database
- You are alerted when your file has reached the end of its retention lifecycle
- The file is then professionally destroyed for you
You may have your employees destroying documents with office paper shredders. While this may appear to be the most direct path to secure document destruction, in reality, time-consuming shredding duties often get pushed aside in favor of other important tasks. Within a busy office setting, documents can stack up without being shredded for days, weeks or even months.
The collection of any material to be destroyed should be efficient and secure to avoid potential exposure of confidential information. Paper shredding machines require that staples, paperclips, sticky notes and file folders be removed, and files must be broken into shreddable stacks. But when you use professional shred collection containers, whole files can be quickly dropped inside without being disassembled.
If the storage of old, no-longer-needed documents is eating up your valuable office space, a one-time file purge shredding service may be the answer. This service enables collection containers to be delivered to your office, where your staff can drop files for collection and shredding. If you’d like to keep up with your shredding so that document storage never becomes an issue, a scheduled shredding service with collection containers placed throughout your building is the best way to go.
When using in-house staff to shred your documents, it is very difficult—if not impossible—to verify that information has been destroyed in a timely, secure, and thorough manner. In order to ensure privacy protection for your clients and compliance with privacy laws and regulations, your document destruction process should include verification of destruction.
A professional NAID AAA shredding service incorporates verifiable security standards throughout the destruction process through the following processes:
- Trained, screened and uniformed staff
- Strict chain of custody procedures are followed during handling and shredding of documents
- GPS-tracked vehicles are used to transport shredded material
- A Certificate of Destruction issued at the end of the destruction process provides you with proof that all documents were destroyed in accordance to the highest privacy protection standards
Your corporate information destruction process should be secure, consistent and easily for your employees to follow. Assess the efficiency of your current system and identify any potential risks that may lead to compromised documents. You may find that a professional shredding service with established procedures and specialized staff can strengthen your privacy protection strategy.
Richards & Richards provides document shredding solutions to business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.