Document shredding services are of vital importance since all companies have occasion to discard sensitive and confidential data. Price lists, customer lists, company drafts, memos, and sales statistics all contain information about the activity of a business that competitors would find interesting. According to business espionage professionals, the trash is the most readily available source of private and competitive information from average companies. As such, any business that discards such data without the benefits offered by secure document destruction is exposed to the risk of costly losses and prosecution. Without proper measures in place, information often ends up in the trash where it is legally and readily available to anybody. Below are some facts to ensure you make the best decision when it comes to document shredding.
A retention schedule that considers the governing legal requirements and value of business records to the company should determine the period you store such records. You should not keep any record for longer than the retention period. If you do not destroy stored records routinely, then your business is exhibiting disposal practices that are suspicious and can be construed negatively in the case of an audit or law suit. Secure document destruction is the only acceptable technique of discarding stored records since it ensures all the information is obliterated. Additionally, recording the exact date of destruction as a precaution is prudent and recommended.
Your regular trash contains potentially harmful information, especially if you do not have a program to control it. Because this information includes the details of your current activities, it is especially useful to your competitors. Every company suffers potential exposure as a result of the need to discard incidental business records. As such, ensuring such information is collected and destroyed in a secure manner is the only way to minimize your exposure.
Recycling isn’t a viable alternative
In a bid to extract value from office paper, most recycling companies employ unscreened, minimum wage employees to sort paper even when the conditions are unsecured. They also store acceptable paper until they have enough of a certain kind to sell, which often is indefinite. No fiduciary responsibility exists in the recycling scenario. By giving away or selling paper, companies forego the right to have a say regarding how it is handled. Additionally, no practical way of knowing the precise date of destruction exists and if something surfaces, opting for this unsecured process might be interpreted as negligent. According to risk management, the selection of recycling as a way of document destruction is, therefore, undesirable.
A certificate of destruction doesn’t relieve companies from their obligation maintain confidentiality
If you contract a document shredding company, they should provide a signed testimonial showing the date of destruction. As vital legal records showing compliance with the retention schedule, certificates of destruction do not transfer the responsibility to maintain confidentiality to the contractor. You can always learn more at the Shred-it website.