A robust document and data destruction strategy is crucial for any business, regardless of the industry or the population it serves. Employee payroll information, marketing material, business plans and contracts are just a few examples of everyday business papers that may cause damage to the organization and its team members should they end up in the wrong hands.

In addition, businesses should also have a plan in place for handling and managing defunct data — information held on old devices is a goldmine for unscrupulous thieves.

If you’ve launched a new business or if you’re establishing a new strategy in your workplace for handling old papers and redundant technology, here are a few ways to go about the process and a few checkpoints you should make sure you hit.

Create a Policy

First and foremost, the creation of a document and data destruction policy is key. Creating boundaries, timelines, and strict rules for the safe and secure storage of paperwork and technologies will ensure every team member understands the process and its severity.

Highlight how long physical and virtual papers should be stored for — this will depend on your location and its legal stipulations — who destroys said documents, and how destruction will be processed.

Train Team Members and Implement Rules of Enforcement

A policy is only effective if people use and adhere to it correctly. A destruction policy that isn’t followed at all, or isn’t followed correctly, renders it useless. Implement thorough team training on the bullet points of the procedure and repercussions for members who don’t follow protocol.

Data security is incredibly serious; incidents of identity theft and fraud are rampant. In 2021, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission reported almost 6 million fraud reports (5.88 million). If your team members are responsible for a data leak, this isn’t good for your business financially, legally and on a PR front.

Plan for Data Destruction

Include how, when, and where papers and data will be destroyed in your planning documents. Creating a schedule will keep your destruction plan top of mind.

The most secure and efficient form of paper and data destruction involves recruiting outside help from companies such as Absolute Destruction. Here, trained professionals will come to your location, collect and securely shred papers and old technology. You can schedule regular pick-ups (keeping you and team members accountable) or a one-time collection depending on your needs.

Lastly, consider adding timers for virtual documents, so team members are reminded when to delete or sanitize these files.

Revisit, Revamp and Refresh

As with any workplace policy, pivoting, adapting, and updating your document destruction plan each year is crucial. Be sure to incorporate team members’feedback and respond to criminals’ current techniques and tools.

For any company, regardless of its size, a data breach is detrimental both to the business and to its employees. By taking the time to create a robust plan pertaining to the destruction of expired documents and technology, you’re not only keeping within the parameters of the law, but you’re closing the door to criminals with ill intent.

Ft. Img. Credit: Pixabay Via:Pexels

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