To Shred or Not to Shred? Six Best Practices for Corporate Document Shredding


Corporate document shredding is serious business!  Whether or not you hire professionals like Hot Shred to handle your document destruction, it’s vital that businesses of every size stay on top of their document-shredding needs.  Failure to do so potentially opens your business up to liability, regulatory investigation, or worse.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to corporate document shredding.

Six Best Practices for Corporate Document Destruction

1 – Understand that your trash is NOT private or protected.

Since 1998, it’s been the law in America that trash cannot be considered private.  If someone “dumpster dives” and can retrieve protected information from your garbage, that’s going to be considered a failure on the part of your business.

2 – Know the regulations for your industry

Nearly all businesses have set regulations regarding data\document storage, as well as which documents must be destroyed and after how long.  There are far too many regulations to discuss in a blog, but it’s vital you understand which regulations pertain to your business, so you can adhere to them.

3 – Recognize and flag all documents with sensitive information for destruction

If it contains private information regarding a customer or member of your staff, it will need to be shredded or otherwise destroyed.  This includes documents including:

  • Social security numbers and\or Tax IDs
  • Dates of birth
  • Medical records
  • Bank records
  • Old identity cards
  • Travel documentation, such as passport records
  • Resumes
  • Tax forms
  • Utility bills

If the document could potentially be used in any sort of identity theft, it needs to be thoroughly destroyed.

4 – Have a regular corporate document shredding schedule

Document destruction should not be a “when we get around to it” thing.  Have clear policies in place and a regular schedule for document destruction, to help ensure that it always happens when it needs to.

5 – Remember that hard drives and solid-state drives must be destroyed as well

If your data is digital, the drives holding the data should be wiped or destroyed on a regular basis.  Degaussing (de-magnetization) and crushing are the most common options.  Remember that any “delete”, or “format” command done within an Operating System will not actually destroy the data.

6 – Consider a corporate document shredding service

Professional services can handle all this and more while ensuring you have full legal documentation of the destruction.  Contact Hot Shred today for a cost estimate!

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