4 Things You Should Be Destroying

As a business owner, you generate confidential waste daily. One of the most important things you can do is dispose of it securely. But it’s not always easy knowing what to destroy versus what to recycle. Here’s a list of the which items you should destroy regularly:

Documents with Financial Information

Identity thieves know organisations generate confidential waste. They look for any opportunity to steal discarded financial information. You should shred all documents and files that contain financial information, including:

  • bank statements
  • corporate credit card statements
  • tax documents
  • utility bills
  • cancelled cheques
  • invoices
  • sales forecasts
  • contract and lease documents

Documents with Personal Information

If you collect personal information from your customers and clients, always shred it when it’s no longer needed. You don’t want to be held responsible for employees or customers having their identities stolen or their confidential information exploited. Furthermore, a privacy breach may result in stiff fines and penalties from non-compliance with The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Destroy the following documents as soon as you’re done with them:

  • account numbers
  • credit reports
  • benefit reports
  • resumes
  • purchase and sales orders

As a rule of thumb, shred any document containing a name, birth date or national insurance number. 

Documents with Medical Information

General practitioners, medical centres, dental practices, pharmacies, and home care providers have a responsibility to shred confidential medical records. If you’re a health care organisation, be sure to shred the following documents:

  • patient records
  • mental health reports
  • vaccination records
  • x-rays and MRIs 

Non-Paper Media

An information security plan should also include non-paper media. Too many businesses think they’re in the clear by deleting data from hard drives and tapes and then tossing them in a waste bin. Using deletion as a final disposition solution for your media opens your company to privacy breaches and liability exposure. With readily-available technology, thieves can recover deleted files from hard drives and data tapes. Physical destruction of your hard drives and tapes is the only way to make sensitive data unreadable and unusable. Use an IT and media destruction service to dispose of your expired media assets promptly and securely.

In today’s world, with identity theft and business fraud at an all-time high, you can never be too vigilant. Use this list to keep your customers, employees and company safe.

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides records and information management solutions for businesses throughout London, Bristol, Bath, and Swindon. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Natasha Rawley The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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