When one refers to the concept of data security, they usually mean digital information. However, we still need to protect ourselves from the paper documents we create. Strangely, printed documents pose just as much of a threat to cybersecurity as any file ever will, and most people do not even consider paper information when they are trying to improve their enterprise security. The big question, is what you should shred and what should you keep?
The Importance of Shredding Policies
In any business, having a good shredding policy in place is of the utmost importance, but if you are here, reading this, then you don’t need us to tell you that. The number of businesses that seem to have no policies in place for the disposal of paperwork is astounding. It may surprise you even further, to know that quite a few businesses have admitted to ‘losing’ confidential or sensitive documents. Usually, this loss does not come from the top; employees are one of the most common reasons for which documents are lost or misplaced, which makes the need for competent management and policies all the more important. If you own a small to medium-sized business, you need to know what you should be shredding and most importantly, what you should be keeping. We will start by talking about the papers that you should be holding.
Papers to Keep
The following papers should never see the jaws of DestroyIt Paper Shredders:
- Capital Stocks Paperwork
- Financial Statements
- Pension Records/Information
- Trademarks or Copyrights
These documents are all critical, and as you are not going to shred them, you should make sure that they are adequately secured in a locked file cabinet.
Documents to Shred
Arguably, the following documents should be kept around for a time, but ultimately, they need to be shredded to ensure the security of your business. We are going to list the type of document, and then the amount of time that you should hold onto it.
- Tax Documents – 3-6 Years
- Employee Documents (W-4, I-9, etc.) – 4+ Years
- Healthcare Related Paperwork – 5-6 Years or as Law Dictates
- Contracts – 6 Years Following Termination
While all these documents do need to be taken care of at some point, you should make sure that you are consulting an attorney if you are unsure as to whether or not yours should be shredded. Naturally, you will have an instinct to save these files but minimizing the number of paper documents that you have on hand will reduce risks, and it will save you a considerable amount of space.
Documents to Shred Right Away
The materials that we have listed above should be taken care of as directed and you should shred essentially anything else. All Records that contain information on customers, employees, insider information and anything else that could quickly undermine your company should be destroyed. A lot of important and critical information is kept on the papers that you leave around your office – make sure that it doesn’t cause a problem. Just remember to ask yourself the most important question of all: “Will this paper come in handy down the road?” If the answer is no, shred it.
Get the Best Hardware for the Job
If you are going to shred your documents effectively, then you need to make sure you have the best equipment for the job. DestroyIt shredders are some of the best on the market, handling large volumes without overheating, and giving you the upper hand with your mounting pile of paperwork. Browse our store today and make sure you have everything you need to start shredding.