Begin Year 2020 on a Safe and Secure Note
As a business owner or key decision maker for the organization, you have probably wrestled with the question of safe storage and secure disposal of your physical and digital records. The exponential increase in hacks, breaches and data thefts further highlights the criticality and urgency for safeguarding information pertaining to your business, customers, employees and other stakeholders. Other factors, such as industry-specific privacy protection regulations, FACTA disposal rules, and public opinion through social media platforms also drive businesses to invest in proper data protection measures. After all, nobody wants to make headlines for failing to protect sensitive information, even though it may happen inadvertently!
While sophisticated IT security applications and software can help you build the infrastructure for protecting your digital records, a ‘shred-all policy’ can address safe disposal of your paper documents. However, there is a vast gap to cover from deciding to implement such a policy, and actually making it work successfully for you. Read on to learn how to institutionalize a document and asset shredding culture in your company.
Tips for Successful Implementation of a ‘Shred-All’ Policy
All set to introduce a ‘shred-all’ policy for your business? Here are some tips for enhancing the effectiveness of such an initiative:
Clear and Up-to-Date Guidelines: While drafting the policy:
- Include simple instructions and guidelines that are easy to follow.
- Take into account all applicable regulations and industry norms.
- Clearly define the minimum retention period applicable to specific documents, along with document management and storage guidelines for such records.
- Define a policy owner who must review the document on a periodic basis to keep it up-to-date. Your shredding guidelines could go through version changes due to modifications in applicable laws, or changes in business priorities.
Proper Sensitization and Training: Familiarize your staff with the essential elements of the policy, as well as the repercussions of breaching the guidelines. If your employees are sensitized, trained and periodically refreshed on information security measures, they are more likely to adhere to the policy requirements. Remember to train them on the actual shredding process, including removal of clips, pins, etc., and proper usage of the machines. You may also want to introduce physical reminders of such a policy through posters, banners or desk memorabilia, to ensure that your staff is constantly aware of their roles and responsibilities related to shredding.
Adequate and Well-Maintained Equipment: Are you going to be dependent on office shredders for safe disposal of all your paper documents? If yes, then ensure that you place a sufficient number of shredders and bins at carefully selected locations across the workspace. Additionally,
- Take into account the volume of document disposal, and invest in additional bins and shredders, if necessary.
- Plan for maintenance and repairs of these machines, as overuse, misuse, or manual errors could lead to more frequent breakdowns.
Rigorous Monitoring: Establish a program for monitoring adherence to the policy. When a ‘shred-all’ policy is in its early stages of implementation, or you have newer staff members on board, human errors are possible. For example, you may see instances of:
- Partially shredded documents, because of negligence or inability to operate the shredder accurately.
- Frequent breakdown in the machines due to missed removal of staple pins or paper clips before placing the documents in the shredders.
- Documents that need to be ‘stored’ or ‘saved’ erroneously making their way to the shredding bin.
- Documents sitting in a wrong bin, or scattered across desks, instead of being in the shredding pile.
Usher in a safe and secure 2020 by implementing a ‘shred-all’ policy for your business. This may be one of the best ways to strengthen your defense against thefts, breaches and hacks. However, in-house shredding could mean unproductive man-hours, higher administrative costs, and greater likelihood of security lapses. Instead, consider hiring a professional paper shredding company, such as TITAN Mobile Shredding. As a NAID AAA Certified company, we offer an extensive range of on-site and off-site services, including routine on-site shredding, annual bulk purges, and destruction of hard drives.
For proper disposal of documents, call us at (866) 848-2699 or contact us online. Our data destruction specialists will be happy to customize a shredding program that suits your business needs and budget.