What is a Certificate of Destruction?
One day I was sorting through the mail when I noticed that one envelope was from the shredding company that regularly destroys all our documents. I’ve just recently started working here, so when I pulled out a document that had “Certificate of Destruction” written across the top of it, I was intrigued but confused.
What Is on the Certificate of Destruction?
On the certificate was our company name, address, and other details. There was an order number and detailed information about what was destroyed, how it was destroyed and the date and time it occurred. It appeared very official, and being the curious person I am, I asked my colleague, “This Certificate thing. Is it important?”
The answer was a firm, “Yes!”
“We don’t have to frame this and hang it on a wall, do we?” I asked. I hadn’t seen any others around the office.
She laughed and said, “Of course not, otherwise we would be hanging certificates on a weekly basis.”
We get one of these every time we have material shredded? I thought. Wow, that seems excessive.
Purpose of the Certificate
My colleague went on to explain that because we create and handle documents that contain sensitive and confidential information, we are legally required to securely destroy them as indicated by state and federal laws. Any document that contains any of the following information must be properly destroyed so it can’t be read or reassembled:
- Personally identifiable information (PII)
- Information protected by privacy laws
- Financial details
- Digital information
I said, “That includes a large amount of the documents we discard.”
My colleague’s response to that was, “And that’s why we send everything to the shredder. That way we don’t have to worry that anything got overlooked.”
Now that’s smart!
How to Use a Certificate of Destruction
A Certificate of Destruction is documented proof that we have followed all required privacy and destruction laws and that any information that we have produced has been properly destroyed. If there is any claim that someone’s private information has been seen or used by an authorized individual or organization, we have documented proof that it didn’t come from our business because the personal information we generated has all been properly destroyed. All the details are indicated on the Certificate of Destruction.
“Having that certificate may prevent a marred reputation, legal action, or even the possibility of losing the business. If there is ever an audit of our records, the certificate will be evidence of compliance with privacy and security laws,” my colleague said.
I thought, Having a Certificate of Destruction is a smart idea, so why would anyone not want one?
How to Obtain a Certificate of Destruction
Obtaining a Certificate of Destruction upon the completion of every shredding job will supply you with peace of mind and proof of compliance with data privacy laws. In short, it protects you, your business, your staff, and your customers.
But you can only obtain a Certificate of Destruction by working with a reputable shredding company that won’t disappear in the night. Look for an established, locally-owned, NAID AAA Certified shredding company to partner with so you can sleep soundly at night knowing your information is protected and you have proof of it.
Richards & Richards is Nashville’s oldest and most trusted shredding company. We are NAID AAA Certified and provide a secure chain of custody for your information, ending with a Certificate of Destruction for your records. For more information, call us at 615-242-9600 or complete the form on this page. Our friendly experts are standing by to assist you!