Top Document Disposal Mistakes Small Businesses Make

18 Apr

Do you toss outdated business records in the recycling bins and dumpsters? You’re putting your company’s confidential information at risk if you do. That includes your employees’ and customers’ data.

 

Whether it’s company mail or paper documents, they can become a liability when they fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, proper disposal of records should be part of your good document management strategy.

 

If you don’t want to encounter serious legal and financial repercussions, be aware of these top document disposal mistakes small businesses usually make and which you should avoid.

 

Keeping Documents Longer Than Necessary

Not disposing of old files is usually the first mistake most businesses make. It won’t only become a nuisance, clogging up your space and operations. Also, keeping documents longer than necessary can be costly. The risk of potential threats in terms of breaches may increase as the volume of information you manage grows.

 

So the disposal of older documents is necessary. Removing documents after a year or two past their creation date seems a good idea. However, also take note of the retention period mandated by the law. In Canada, you must keep tax records and supporting documents for six years. Thus, ensure to have a document retention policy in place.

 

Recycling Sensitive Documents

Recycling paper documents is beneficial to the environment. It’s one of the reasons why some companies have a recycling program. But this can put your client and employee data susceptible to theft. Employees can make the mistake of recycling materials with sensitive information.

 

The same applies to using a recycling center to get rid of any paper documents. You cannot ensure data security from the manual processes at recycling centers. Extra caution is necessary if your business wants to advocate paper recycling.

Relying on an Office Paper Shredder

Shredding is one of the solutions to conduct secure document destruction. This is why companies invest in an office paper shredder. While the machine comes in handy, it only works well with occasional documents. Relying on your office paper shredder won’t be a good idea for large-scale document destruction.

 

This is where hiring an off-site shredding service comes into play. But this option also requires careful consideration. The Library and Archives of Canada, as the keeper of Canada’s documentary heritage, only utilizes such services if the shredding company ensures adequate security measures.

 

Therefore, only work with reliable companies that provide professional document shredding in Markham or anywhere in Canada.

 

Only Deleting Data From a Digital Device

Deleting data from the computer is not a sufficient disposal method. It still leaves a footprint of the data that a savvy thief can retrieve. To ensure security and peace of mind, use a professional media destruction device to dispose of your electronic data and IT assets. This way, you can ensure that your sensitive data isn’t easily retrievable.

 

Secure Data and Document Destruction

It’s easy to neglect proper documents and data management. But it’s essential to protect your company, employees, and customers’ information. Even if your business is still small, you wouldn’t want to gain a bad reputation only because you didn’t secure data and proper document destruction.

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