|Courtesy of the National Association
for Information Destruction, Inc.
Secure Document Destruction and Paper Shredding Facts
Infoshed offers total document life cycle management. Secure destruction of business records and record storage center coupled with our secure on-site and off-site document destruction services shredding in CT, RI, and MA.
1. Every Business Has Information That Requires Destruction.
All businesses have occasion to discard confidential data. Customer lists, price lists, sales statistics, drafts of bids and correspondence, and even memos contain information about business activity which would interest any competitor. Every business is also entrusted with information that must be kept private. Employees and customers have the legal right to have this data protected.
Without the proper safeguards, information ends up in the dumpster where it is readily, and legally, available to anybody. The trash is considered by business espionage professionals as the single most available source of competitive and private information from the average business. Any establishment that discards private and proprietary data without the benefit of destruction, exposes itself to the risk of criminal and civil prosecution, as well as the costly loss of business.
2. Stored Records Should Be Destroyed On A Regular Schedule.
By not adhering to a program of routinely destroying stored records, a company exhibits suspicious disposal practices that could be negatively construed in the event of litigation or audit. Also, the new (Federal Rule 26) requires that, in the event of a law suit, each party provide all relevant records to the opposing counsel within 85 days of the defendants initial response. If either of the litigants does not fulfill this obligation, it will result in a summary finding against them. By destroying records according to a set schedule, a company appropriately limits the amount of materials it must search through to comply with this law.
From a risk management perspective, the only acceptable method of discarding stored records is to destroy them by a method that ensures that the information is obliterated. Documenting the exact date that a record is destroyed is a prudent and recommended legal precaution.
3. Incidental Business Records Discarded On A Daily Basis Should Be
All businesses suffer potential exposure due to the need to discard these incidental business records. The only means of minimizing this exposure is to make sure such information is securely collected and destroyed.
4. Recycling Is Not An Adequate Alternative For Information Destruction.
There is no fiduciary responsibility inherent in the recycling scenario. Paper is given away or sold and, by doing so, a company gives up the right to have a say in how it is handled. There is, also, no practical means of establishing the exact date that a record is destroyed. In the event of an audit or litigation, this could be a legal necessity. And, further, if something of a private nature does surface, the selection of this unsecured process could be interpreted as negligent. For all these reasons, the choice of recycling as a means of information destruction is undesirable from a risk management perspective.
If environmental responsibility is a concern, materials may be recycled after they are destroyed or a firm can contract a service that will destroy the materials under secure conditions before recycling them. Any recycling company that minimizes the need for security has its own interests in mind and should be avoided.
5. A Certificate Of Destruction Does Not Relieve A Company From Its
Obligation To Keep Information Confidential.
If private information surfaces after the vendor accepts it, the court is bound to question the process by which the particular contractor was selected. Any company not showing due diligence in their selection of a contractor that is capable of providing the necessary security could be found negligent.
And, from a practical standpoint, if proprietary or private information is lost or leaked by the fraud or negligence of a vendor, the obligations of that vendor are irrelevant. The firm whose information falls into the wrong hands stands to lose the most, either from loss of business, prosecution or unfavorable publicity.
Since a business cannot transfer it s responsibility to maintain confidentiality, it must be certain that it is dealing with a reputable company with superior security procedures. Unfortunately, there are those information destruction services that provide certificates of destruction while having no semblance of security and, in some cases, no destruction process available to them. Anyone interested in contracting a data destruction service is advised to thoroughly review their policies and procedures, conduct an initial site audit and conduct subsequent unannounced audits. On-site document destruction is also an option in most cities.
6. Most Records Storage Companies Do Not Have The Equipment To Provide Shredding Services.
Any business using a commercial records storage firm should inquire as to the nature of the destruction services that are available. It is an unacceptable risk to permit a storage firm to select a subcontractor to provide the records destruction service. The owner of the records is ultimately responsible for their security and, therefore, should be selecting the vendor directly.
7. Internal Personnel Should Not Be Responsible For Destroying Certain
8. Information Protection Is A Vital Issue To Senior Management.