Ring In The New Year With Chicago Document Shredding Services From CRI
January is a popular time to clean house. Some businesses take advantage of a post-holiday lull to get their files in order; others see the new year as the perfect time to update files and policies. Whatever the reason for cleaning house, the end result is a lot of paperwork that contains sensitive and private information.
Information like that can’t be just tossed into the trash or even into the recycling bin. The risk of a security breach or identity thieves stealing the information is too great. Unfortunately, out-and-out theft isn’t the only way sensitive data can fall into the wrong hands. System glitches, poor processes, or inappropriate handling of data by employees have all been known to put information in the wrong hands.
Take some time this winter to use these five tips to examine both your physical disposal options and your business’ document retention policies and improve the security of your sensitive data.
5 Steps To A Strong Data Security Program
- Determine What To Keep. Some files must be kept for a certain period of time by law. Files that contain confidential client information, employee or company data usually have to be kept for a minimum amount of time. The IRS requires certain business records to also be kept for a minimum of seven years. Other documents can be kept for longer or for less time or don’t need to be retained at all. Take some time to determine what needs to be kept and for how long. Regularly maintaining these files will help you understand what you’ve saved and where it’s located as well as minimize the amount of paper and data you have lying around.
- Develop a Retention Policy. Once you’ve determined what must be kept and for how long you can develop a retention policy to keep it safe. Decide where it will be stored, how it will be stored, and who has access to the data or storeroom. Then, make sure your employees are aware of and understand the policy so you don’t have unauthorized access.
- Designate A Destruction Date. Part of your retention policy should be to determine a destruction date for your records. Store records that need to be destroyed at the same time together for easy access. Clearly mark the contents and destruction date on the box. Routine, continuous destruction is critical to keeping on top of ever-growing piles of data and to keeping those piles neatly organized and manageable.
- Hire A Reliable Shredding Service. You still need to be careful with how you dispose of the files. Just because you aren’t legally required to keep them any longer doesn’t mean they don’t contain data that could compromise the security of your business or an employee. Hire a Chicago document shredding service to destroy the files for you. Always ask for a Certificate of Destruction to certify the files have been completely destroyed and ask that the paper be recycled after shredding for added protection.
- Don’t Forget Digital Files. Digital data needs to be retained and then safely destroyed too. Many Chicago document shredding services also offer hard disk destruction, which provides much safer, more complete data destruction than erasing a disk or a hard drive.
Add CRI’s Chicago Document Shredding Services To Your Data Security Program
Developing a clear data disposal policy, communicating that policy to employees, and adopting a company wide practice of data destruction is the best way to safeguard your confidential data from intentional and unintentional threats.
Let CRI help you in your data security efforts with our Chicago document shredding services. Contact us for a free security audit and learn more about how our shredding capabilities can keep your business data safe. Call 855-782-8490 to speak to our team today!