Residents, businesses, organizations, healthcare providers, professionals of all types have confidential documents that must be discarded at some point. They include financial records, customer lists, patient files, credit card receipts, price lists, sales statistics, drafts of bids and correspondence, and even memos contain information about you, your business and your activities which would be of interest to many people. You need to protect your private information and the information you are entrusted with and the best way to do that is shred the documents when they are no longer needed.
Without the proper safeguards, information ends up in the dumpster where it is readily, and legally, available to anybody. The trash is considered by privacy and business espionage professionals as the single most available source of competitive and private information from the average business or individual. Any person or establishment that discards private and proprietary data without the benefit of shredding exposes them self to the risk of criminal and civil prosecution, as well as costly financial hardship.
The Federal government and every state have privacy laws that apply to individuals, businesses and organizations of all kinds with provision in them that require that any document that contains private or personal information must be destroyed before they are disposed of to make them unreadable or can’t be reconstructed, that means shredding. Failure to comply with these laws can lead to penalties and fines.
Half of every document has information on them that shredding is required. The time and energy to assess each document could be overwhelming. Make it simple and play it safe and shred every document when it is time to throw them away.
Before you move your home or office you will decide what needs to be moved or be disposed. When it comes to files and documents it’s a good time to purge those papers that are no longer needed. But you should not just discard any old or unwanted files. They need to be shredded.
The period of time that personal and business records are stored should be determined by legal requirements and business retention schedules that takes into consideration their useful value to the business or person and the governing legal requirements. No record should be kept longer than necessary and should be shredded when it is being disposed. It will also help you reduce your storage cost.
Litigation is a part of life that everyone has to deal with at some point. With litigation there is discovery. Discovery is providing documents related to the matter which could be time consuming and expensive. By shredding documents when they have reach their retention requirements you are reducing your exposure to the costs of discovery.