Three Common Information Disposal Mistakes and How You Can Prevent Them

You do your best to protect your business information. But just because you haven’t had a breach of confidential information doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen in the future. We’ve outlined three risky information disposal practices and offered ways to remedy them so that your business doesn’t fall victim to a data breach.

1. Relying on a self-managed, in-house shredding machine

Most likely you’re already using shredding machines for the disposal of business information. In theory, these devices enable employees to securely and quickly dispose of confidential files. In reality, shredding machines are both underutilized and burdensome to use. Feeding documents through a shredder takes time, which is a precious commodity within a busy office setting. As a result, employees charged with revenue-generating tasks may come to view shredding as a low-priority task. Hence, documents don’t get shredded in a timely manner, or instead, end up in the bottom of a recycling bin or trash can.

The purchase and ongoing maintenance of shredders is also costly. It’s likely that you’ve already replaced several shredding machines which are not designed to accommodate the high volume shredding needs of a busy organization. Additionally, as with any piece of electronic equipment, the more shredders you utilize, the higher your energy costs. Further, if a shredder is unable to be used due to overheating or permanent malfunction—both common occurrences—confidential information is left exposed until replacement equipment can be purchased.

A professionally managed shredding service allows you to reduce the overhead costs associated with your current in-house shredding method and provides a reliable and verifiable solution for ensuring confidential information is destroyed. Shredders can be replaced with locked security containers which facilitate convenient and regular disposal of sensitive paperwork. Whole files can be placed within these collection consoles without the time-consuming process of removing staples, paperclips, sticky notes, etc. Depending on the volume of information your business needs to shred, security containers are then collected on daily, weekly or monthly basis and securely shredded. A Certificate of Destruction provides you with an official document to meet any regulatory requirements your business may be subject to.

2. Recycling expired records

Over the course of a year, it’s not uncommon to have a buildup of past retention documents within your office. Often, these records are mistakenly recycled without being shredded. Because they may contain sensitive data that can be easily compromised, they should always be shredded prior to being recycled. A one-time shred service offers easy and secure disposal for expired records. Locked collection bins are dropped off in advance of purge project, collected at an appointed time and the contents are subsequently shredded. A one-time shred service also provides a secure disposal solution for document purges resulting from:

  • Office relocations
  • Changes in retention schedules
  • Changes in legal and/or regulatory requirements

3. Throwing away tapes and hard drives

No-longer-needed backup tapes and hard drives are frequently subject to negligent disposal practices. Companies are often under the false impression that erasing these digital storage devices protects data from being compromised. However, sensitive information on “erased” tapes can still be extracted and retrieved. A professional data destruction and disposal service provides physical destruction of hard drives and backup tapes compliant with the following privacy laws:

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

Archives Management Centers provides shredding and destruction solutions to businesses throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties. To find out more, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.