The best way to dispose of your business's sensitive documents is to have them shredded by a reputable and trustworthy document destruction company. Of course, even if you use a document destruction service on a regular basis, you'll still need to store these documents as they mount up. And if you don't store them securely, the data they contain could be exposed before they're destroyed, defeating the whole purpose of having them shredded in the first place.
Here are three simple tips you should follow during the shredding process.
1. Make Sure You Sort Documents Accurately
Managing documents can be one of the toughest parts of running a business because there are always many different types to sort through, all of which need to be kept for different lengths of time. However, it's important that you get this step right before storing documents to be shredded. If an important file gets loaded in with a bunch of waste documents, you'll end up forced to send an employee to retrieve it once you realise it's missing. Letting employees rifle through sensitive documents is an information leak waiting to happen, whether you end up with a rogue worker who wants to sabotage you or just someone who doesn't make sure all the documents end up back in their storage after being searched through. Plus, you also run the risk of not finding the document on time and sending it to the shredder. So, make sure to create a document management plan that funnels only waste documents into the 'To Shred' containers.
2. Use Secure Containers
Another very effective way to protect your sensitive waste documents is to keep them all in lockable containers. Many small businesses try to save money by bundling old documents into trash bags or plastic boxes. However, investing in a few lockable boxes will go a long way in protecting your information. If anyone can get into your containers, anyone can steal those documents. There are many purpose-designed boxes out there that have simple slots in the top, so they can also make document management easier. Alongside using secure boxes, make sure you store those boxes in a private area. Don't leave them outside with the rest of your rubbish, as you'll quickly find yourself a target for fraudster thieves.
3. Weigh the Boxes Down
Even when you're storing your boxes in an enclosed area, it's still best to take precautions to prevent them from being stolen. You may think you can trust your staff, but employees are actually the leading cause of data breaches at businesses, whether inadvertent or deliberate. On top of that, it's not uncommon for fraudsters to break into businesses specifically to steal sensitive documents that they can use for identity theft. One way to reduce the risk of your boxes being stolen and cracked open is to weigh them down. Put a few heavy metal weights in the container before loading it. If it's too heavy to carry, it will be far harder for thieves to steal without getting caught.