3 Important Things to Consider Before Destroying Business Documents

by | Sep 15, 2018 | Law and Records Management

document retention policy template

As a business, it is crucial that you protect private information from falling into the wrong hands. Unfortunately, this can happen simply as a result of carelessness. Thus, it is important that when drafting a document retention policy template to include a policy on how to safely destroy documents.

One of the easiest ways to effectively destroy documents is to shred them. Before you or someone else in your business throws out or shreds important documents, here are a few things to take into consideration.

Recycling Can Be a Liability

Most offices want to do their part to help the environment by cutting down on the amount of garbage they contribute to landfills. Many accomplish this by promoting recycling throughout the office. For many, tossing paper documents, notes, and memos into the recycling is a part of their daily routine.

At other times, when cleaning out your desk or reorganizing the office, it might be a reflex to toss piles of old documents straight into the recycling. While recycling old documents is a great idea, it can prove to be a liability if not handled correctly because you can’t guarantee your client’s private information will be kept private.

The best way to ensure privacy is to permanently destroy documents by using a mobile document shredding service. This is the best way to guarantee that old documents are rendered unusable.

Keeping Unnecessary Documents Around Can Also Be a Liability

Some employees have a habit of holding on to old papers, notes, and memos. Others like to file these documents away to be used at a later time. Either way, this can be tricky and become a liability because the documents are left in a fully intact state. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it could become a problem for your business.

This also applies to electronic copies of documents left on your hard drive. Don’t be fooled into thinking that because electronic documents are filed away in an old file or sent to the recycling bin on your computer they are safe. A mobile shredding service will also be able to shred your hard drive, permanently destroying electronic documents.  

Don’t Wait to Shred Sensitive Information

Holding on to old files, documents, or notes that you no longer need can potentially put your business at risk. Therefore, it is imperative that you do not delay destroying unnecessary documents. Destroy these documents as soon as you can to prevent your business from being held liable in the event of a data breach.

A detailed document retention policy template will include specifics about how to destroy documents for good. Information Requirements Clearinghouse can help you establish a policy that includes guidelines for destroying documents to protect your business and your clients’ information.  

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