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4 Document Disposal Mistakes to Avoid

Is your data security program up to par? If you’re not sure—or you think you might have holes in your document disposal strategy—the answer is “no.” Here are four errors to avoid:

Mistake #1: Paper Shredder Dependence

Many organizations make the mistake of relying on store-bought shredders for privacy protection. But given how long it takes to shred documents with an office shredder, these devices increase your identity theft and business fraud exposures. Employees tend to avoid them like the plague, and as a result, sensitive information lands in trash receptacles where it’s easily accessed.

Investing in professional paper shredding service breaks your paper shredder dependence. Secure, barcoded collection containers are brought to your office free of charge. Your employees deposit unwanted paperwork into the containers without having to remove staples, paperclips or sticky notes. When the containers are full, a uniformed and background-screened service representative scans each bar code and records the container’s fill level. Then your documents are shredded on-site with a mobile shredding vehicle or transported to off-site to a shredding plant for destruction.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Final Disposition Dates

Certain records contain information vital to the survival of your organization and must be retained permanently, but they represent a small fraction of your document inventory. Most records have a definite lifecycle, and it’s important to know when to destroy them.

Keeping documents past their legal requirements increases your liability exposure. When documents reach their final disposition date, it’s important to shred them immediately. A reputable information management and shredding and destruction partner can notify you when record reach their final disposition date and destroy them for you.

Mistake #3: Not Documenting the Disposal Process

Regulatory non-compliance is a big mistake that results in exorbitant fines and financial penalties. HIPAA, FACTA, SOX, GLB and GA Senate Bill 425 all contain provisions requiring businesses to verify their information destruction processes. In-house document disposal programs don’t offer a verifiable record of regulatory compliance. Only a professional shredding service offers a Certificate of Destruction that documents the time, date, and method of destruction. 

Mistake #4: Skipping Shredding in Favor of Recycling

Your commitment to a healthy environment is understandable; everyone wants a healthy planet. But sensitive documents should never be thrown in a recycling bin; the risk of identity theft and business fraud is too great. Instead, invest in an on-site shredding service that combines secure document destruction and recycling. On-site shredding combines secure document destruction and recycling. All shredded paper is shipped to a paper recycling plant, pulped, and turned into a variety of consumer products.

Now that you know these common document disposal mistakes, you won’t make them.

Records Management Center provides businesses throughout Augusta, Evans, Thomson, Martinez, GA, Aiken, SC, as well as the Central Savannah River Area, with professional shredding and destruction solutions. To learn more, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.