Simple shredding may not be enough these days.
Even though most businesses carry out much of their work on computers and online these days, many entrepreneurs find themselves building up a mountain of paperwork by the end of each financial year – it seems to pile up when everyone’s back is turned.
From customer lists and credit card receipts to CDs and payroll records, it’s all necessary for a certain amount of time – but it eventually becomes a burden when somewhere has to be found to keep it all.
There are strict rules in place about how long certain paper records can be kept, including bank statements and tax information, after which time you can dispose of them. But are you paying enough attention to just how you get rid?
Taking the necessary steps to keep confidential data safe is a legal requirement these days – and if your company lets something slip through the net that falls into the wrong hands, then you could face a heavy fine and even prosecution.
Recycling is not an option as it once was, as prying eyes increasingly target paper disposal sites. Besides, you can’t be sure that the firms you use for recycling won’t take a look at the documents they get sent from time to time.
Office shredders have been sold as a viable security option for many years, but can you be sure that staff are using them religiously? Also, many machines may be sub-standard in terms of how effectively they destroy data. For example, a team of computer programmers from California recently told the BBC they had come up with a way of piecing shredded documents back together using forensic tracing methods. The moral is that many shredders may not be entirely safe – and who knows who is waiting to do a jigsaw with your client records?
A better option – confidential destruction
A better option could be to use a managed document shredding service such as Dajon Data Management’s. Paperwork will be regularly collected and destroyed to the British Standard BS8470, whereupon you’ll be provided with a destruction certificate.
You can even have old CDs, backup tapes and old servers destroyed. Not until complete destruction has been achieved will anything be sent for secure recycling – which gives you peace of mind that none of your confidential information will fall into the wrong hands.