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14 August 2019

Are You Protecting Confidential Paper Records?

It seems that almost daily the news has stories about private information being stolen.  Your business needs to be knowledgeable about protecting confidential information. All industries and any size business should know how to save guard data and when necessary securely dispose of information.

identity theft

Here are some common errors firms make with protecting confidential information:

Error #1 Not Controlling Access to Company Records

Whether it’s paper files or data on a computer, not all information should be available to all employees.  You need to control access.  All paper records should be in a locked file room with a file room attendant that requires sign-out and returns of files.  If you are a smaller company all file cabinets should have locks and depending on what is in the cabinets determines who has the keys.

Error # 2 Not Requiring Desks To Be Clear Of Files At The End Of The Work Day

Just having piles of files on top of desks where anyone walking by can have access to them is a problem.  It’s not just other employees but guests to your office and the cleaning crew that can also take information from a pile on a desk.  Require all staff to clear their desks at the end of each work day.  They should be able to put files in their desk draws or a file cabinet to safely store them until they return to work.

Error #3: No Written Information Protection Policy

Make your staff aware of the importance of protecting information.  They need to be aware of the cost of a data breach. Create a bullet point policy that covers everything from the time a document is created to the time it is disposed of.  Put this policy in writing and have the employees read it and sign a confirmation that they understand it.  It is also recommended that that review the policy at least once a year and sign another confirmation.

Error #4 Not Training Staff On Handling Confidential Files

Take the extra step and train your employees to follow your Information Protection Policy.  They need to understand the risks the company and they could face if they don’t safeguard confidential information that your company works with every day. Teach them how to secure documents they are working with, after done using them return them to be securely stored or if no longer needed place them in locked containers until they are shredded.

Error #5: Using Small In-house Shredding Machines to Shred Paper Documents

Anyone who has tried to use those small shredders bought at an office supply store knows that it takes forever to shred documents.  You have to remove all staples, paper clips, rubber bands and you can only shred a few sheets at a time.  Think of the other money making tasks that staff person could be doing instead.  These machines can also be a fire hazard because of the heat they generate while shredding.

Error #6: Not Hiring a Professional Document Shredding Company

The first benefit of hiring a document destruction company is it will save you a lot of time.  The paper destruction trucks are equipped with industrial shredders that will destroy in minutes what would take you days or weeks to do on your own. They also offer different services to accommodate any need for shredding.  They have one-time services for firms that don’t shred often and scheduled document destruction for companies that need to destroy business records on an ongoing basis. It’s important to choose a vendor that is certified by the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID). The NAID AAA certification shows they exceed the highest ethical and professional standards for the secure destruction of paper records.

Learn more about protecting your company’s paper records by contacting Time Shred Services at 855-85-SHRED (74733)