Back to the Basics: Why every critical document should be destroyed instead of simply recycled

The digital age has brought with it new levels of convenience and productivity but also unforeseen levels of risk when it comes to data security. Documents, whether they are hard copy or digital, archived or recycled, all offer different risks when it comes to what they can expose in terms of data security.  

Hard copy records and files are often the biggest source of Personal Identifiable Information (PII). That is high risk information that companies need to manage. That’s why effective document disposal is so critical to data security. Document destruction in the digital age is as important as ever before.  There is so much more to destroying a document properly than ripping up some paper and throwing it in the trash. Something so easily destroyed is easily reassembled and your information is not secure. There are issues of properly managing hard copy document destruction, digital file destruction, compliance issues, and waste management as well.  

If you don’t know the ins and outs of proper file management, you could be putting yourself and your company at risk. That’s why so many companies are partnering with document management service providers to make sure they’re doing it right. Here’s just four reasons why hiring a document destruction service can make a big difference for you.  

Hard Copy Destruction 

Despite advances in paperless productivity, most businesses still inevitably create a lot of print outs, hard copy documents and records. The question of what to do when those documents no longer are needed becomes one of combined convenience and security. If your employees are printing out documents at home, they still need to comply with document destruction or disposal in order to protect your business from sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. The easiest way is likely to ensure employees continue to shred (both horizontally and vertically so that reassembly is next to impossible), documents so that no information is available to unauthorized viewers. Other forms of destruction such as incineration and pulping may not be practical in a home office environment. 

Digital File Destruction 

The proper destruction of hard copy documents is only effective if the digital files associated with those documents are also destroyed properly. Simply deleting the files is not enough. Until that space has been written over, the possibility of recovering data still exists. Similar to shredding important paper documents, one way to ensure that your personal information is not easily accessed is by “shredding” of the individual files on the hard drive. There are a variety of software programs which can shred files, but it can be confusing to know which one is right for you. 

Understanding Compliance  

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. Make sure you know what regulations apply to your document destruction before you take any action. 

In general, the best course of action is to work with a partner. Entrust your sensitive document destruction to a responsible document management service provider such as Happy Faces Records Management. The convenience of a document management partner protects your company from security violations and helps maintain security as a high priority. Call today to talk with a representative. 

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