Old documents can pose a lot of liability for a business. Account information, credit card numbers, internal memos — there’s a mountain of information that could jeopardize your company and your customers if you simply throw old documents out. On the other hand, safely destroying your company’s documents is an excellent way to reduce liability and give yourself peace of mind.
But what is “safely” destroying documents? If you’re a company getting ready to purge confidential or sensitive information, here’s what you should know before tossing things in the trash or recycling bin.
Recycling Documents Without Shredding Is a Recipe for Disaster
Having a business committed to recycling is a wonderful thing for the community. Many businesses create enormous amounts of paper waste, and recycling your paper is an excellent idea. You may be convinced that if you start throwing piles of documents in the recycling bin, it won’t matter much. After all, the paper is completely transformed into something new, so no one will see the information, right?
To be safe, if you’re going to recycle your documents, you should shred each one first. It’s the only surefire way to ensure that private information won’t be seen by just anyone. If your daily routine is to toss documents in the recycling without a second thought, take the extra few seconds and shred them first — your privacy depends on it.
Don’t Hold on to Information Past Its Usefulness
The “what if I need it one day” mindset plagues many business owners. They think it’s easier to keep everything “just in case.” But the longer you hold on to documents with sensitive information, the more opportunity there is for the information to fall into the wrong hands.
If you’re already wondering whether you need it or not, there’s a good chance you could live without it. For enhanced security, professional document destruction can help, especially if you deal with a more considerable backlog of restricted information.
A business will go into damage control mode during a data breach, as its reputation will be under scrutiny by current and prospective customers. And if you held ten years’ worth of information, the fallout could devastate your business. Holding on to documents past their prime could also have a much more powerful effect if any of your data is compromised.
Don’t Go Without Professional Document Destruction
Shredding documents yourself can be helpful if it’s one or two documents in a pinch. But if you’re working on a much larger scale, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t working with professionals. If you’re going the in-house shredding route, you’re likely delegating the shredding task to employees, trusting that they’ll handle it properly. But professionals ensure your privacy from start to finish.
While shredding documents is a crucial task, it’s not a great use of anyone’s time. By outsourcing document destruction to recycling professionals, you’re freeing up valuable productivity time and ensuring that it’s done correctly. And since they’re recycling masters, you don’t have to worry about paper being tossed carelessly in the trash.