A Crash Course Reminder: Document Disposal

Knowing that your employees are safely and securely disposing of your business documents is key to peace of mind in a data security-focused business. Data destruction and security really matter in our modern era of security breaches and hacks. To make sure your remote employees are equipped with the knowledge they need to keep your business secure, here’s a simple overview, or crash course, in document disposal while managing a remote workforce.  

Maintain Clear Remote Access Security Procedures 

Accessing files remotely can expose your company and your data. Make sure you and your staff know how to work on the road without exposing your company to any unnecessary risks. Keep software and hardware up to date and fully functional. Avoid logging on to the corporate intranet when connected to a questionable network or hot-spot. Don’t allow employees to use unprotected devices or download unnecessary or unapproved apps or software programs. Make sure that when employees are out and about their work computers are protected in case of theft or damage. Make sure that your team is not exposing your data to theft, hacking, or worse when they are on the road or at home. This requires a strong cyber-security policy and regular enforcement of rules. 

The Importance of Proper Record Disposal 

Your company’s records are a critical resource and their disposal requires the proper investment of time and resources to ensure your compliance with federal and state regulations as well as ensuring the security of your employee’s and client’s information. Poor record disposal can result in security breaches, loss of confidential information, and lost privacy. Failing to heed security related laws and regulations can result in costly fines or even imprisonment.  

Understanding the Different Disposal Methods

There are a number of ways to fully dispose of business records when the time comes. Simply throwing such material in the garbage or recycling bin exposes your company to significant security threats. Such materials need to be disposed of in a way that completely removes the risk of a third party gaining access to sensitive information. The three most complete forms of document disposal include pulping, burning, and most commonly, shredding.  


Shredding is the most well-known of the paper disposal methods. Shredders are available to purchase in both personal and office capacities and are undoubtedly handy tools to have around the home and office. However, they are impractical for use with larger amounts of physical copies and records amassed by most companies. In such cases, they are often inefficient, messy, and don’t provide the level of security necessary for complete peace of mind. Shredded paper can be reconstructed making the security of the disposal method incomplete without the accompaniment of an additional disposal method such as incineration or pulping.  


Incineration is a generally straightforward process that relies on the act of burning to completely destroy sensitive documents. This process can be extremely time-consuming. It requires access to an incinerator or other source of an open flame. It is also illegal to perform in a certain city or residential areas. With that in mind, it’s not recommended for remote workers to leverage this method on their own. In a professional setting, however, there is no chance of sensitive material making it into the wrong hands once this disposal method is complete.  


Pulping is essentially a process that breaks down the fibers of the documents into a liquid slurry. That slurry is then often reused in the creation of post-consumer recycled content products. This process can be done after shredding takes place to make all information completely irretrievable. This method involves submerging your records into bleach or a bleach-like chemical that breaks down the fibers of the paper. The bleach destroys the colorants of ink, completely removing the information that was originally present on the documents. The remaining material is blended and dried for further disposal.  

Clearly, there are advantages of enlisting the help of a records management specialist such as Happy Faces Records Management in the disposal of business records, especially while large portions of your workforce are remote. We are able to provide flexible and secure document disposal methods that meet the needs of your company and take the pain out of document management. 

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