You’ve probably heard about scandals involving companies as a result of sensitive information that was leaked and made public. People often wonder who the traitor was. The answer is often in the trash can.
Dumpster diving is not new. It’s a technique that people have used for decades to get information that they need. You can find out a lot about a company by sifting through their garbage. It’s one of the most effective methods used for corporate espionage and it’s completely legal. There is no privacy when it comes to trash. The law doesn’t protect organizations that fail to protect their own data.
Best practices for document shredding
One of the best ways to protect your business’ records is by hiring a document shredding company. You may want to apply some of the guidelines outlined below when determining how to go about this.
- Keep records only for as long as you need to
This is especially important if you are in a regulated industry. However, every organization should have a policy that provides for retention of documents. This should be in line with the regulations in your area.
- Seek out reliable document shredding services
There are various companies that offer this service. It’s important to ensure that the firm you hire is reliable. They should keep your information confidential. They should also have the right equipment to ensure that all data is completely destroyed. Talk to different service providers and go for the firm that is able to offer you the best value for money.
- Know what information should be protected
It’s good practice to shred all documents that are produced in your firm. However, it isn’t always possible to do so. Understanding what information should be protected makes it easier to manage your documents.
- Adopt a schedule
This will help to ensure that information is destroyed in a timely manner, keeping your organization’s private information safe from prying eyes. Your schedule ought to be determined by the volume of data you produce and your storage capabilities. It should also be based on the type of document shredding company you’ve hired, i.e. on-site or off-site.
- Train staff
This is vital for the success of the program. This ensures that any private information is not simply dumped in the garbage. This will help them understand how to handle sensitive data and how it should be disposed of.
What to shred
Your document shredding company should help you dispose of the following categories of documents:
- Information that is past the retention period
- Physical information that has been converted into digital data
- Notes and scrap information
- Any documents that include addresses, names and private information of staff or the firm
Ensure that all data from your company is completely destroyed for the safety of your company as well as your staff, clients and stakeholders.