Data destruction is not something that your business should take lightly. Many laws and regulations regarding document destruction are in place to prevent data breaches and identity theft. To ensure your business or organization complies with these standards, keep reading to learn four important data destruction rules you should follow.
Know Which Documents To Shred
Not knowing which documents to shred and when to shred them can get your business into security and legal trouble. If there is any chance that a file could contain personal, confidential, or sensitive information regarding your business, employees, or clients, you should destroy it. Your business should also be cautious when sharing or transporting information, such as files and passwords.
Use High-Security Shredding Machines
Another rule of data destruction to follow is to use the correct type of shredder for your industry. Depending on your business or organization category, the standard shredder you can find at an office supply store may not provide enough information security. Educational, governmental, financial, and banking institutions require higher levels of shredder security to properly destroy the sensitive information they handle. Businesses and organizations that fall into these categories should use high-security paper shredders at the P5 level and above to comply with legal requirements.
Destroy Digital Data and Devices
Paper documents aren’t the only files that contain your business’s confidential information. Many modern offices practice digitization, which is the process of uploading information from paper documents to digital files on an organization’s network. You should practice the same secure destruction guidelines for digital information as well, which involves securely deleting digital files. Be sure to destroy any devices containing confidential information, including hard drives, flash drives, discs, and more.
Understand Document and Data Retention Periods
Understanding retention periods also factors into knowing which documents to shred and which to keep. Typically, regulations require businesses to store records for one, three, and seven years. You may even need to retain certain documents forever, as they could be important to reference at any time. You should keep records such as insurance, permits, and licenses indefinitely unless they have expired. In this case, you can replace these documents with any updated versions you receive. Contact your accountant, lawyer, or state record-keeping agency for more information on document retention periods.
Be sure your business or organization follows these four data destruction rules to stay compliant with local laws and security standards. Investing in a high-security shredder from Capital Shredder is one of the best ways to ensure compliance. Our shredding machines are DoD-approved for maximum security and compliance with destruction laws.