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The Significance of a Document Retention Policy

Optimal security can be accomplished through the combination of several smart business practices. A detailed document retention policy is one (but very critical) process that contributes to improved business efficiency and consequently. Deciding what sensitive files need to be stored and which ones require secure destruction, is an important process that should be at the forefront of each and every business, regardless of its size and specific industry.

document retention policy

We highly recommend that your organization take into consideration these helpful components to maintain confidentiality over your information:

  • Information Audits: An audit reveals exactly what types of documents your company creates, which allows you to customize an inventory of what records you’re currently storing. Using these findings, you can then effectively manage your records through improved organization and through document disposal, if necessary.
  • Penalties Associated with Non-Compliance:The law states that certain records must be stored safely for a specified time period; in the same sense, however, if you keep records past their retention period, this can lead to legal consequences as well. To protect your business, we suggest that you review your records diligently to determine where in that lifecycle your records sit. In doing so, you’ll save the stress and headache that is typically associated with non-compliance.  At the end of the day, you don’t want to be faced with surprise financial penalties because of a simple error that could have been avoided. As with all other privacy legislation, The Data Protection Act dictates that a record must be securely shredded after it has reached the end of its lifecycle.
  • Electronic Communication:Private data refers to all variations of information, both electronic and hard copy records that are considered confidential, need to remain secure at all times. As mentioned on wired.com, the Panama Papers leak caused the exposure of over 4.8 million emails, 3 million database files, and 2.1 million PDF’s. If you have email communication that is no longer assists in your daily work routine and won’t be required down the road, delete it as soon as possible. It is best to put protecting your security ahead of anything else.
  • Simple and Immediate Access:Always do your best to index records for improved record keeping and organization. When the time is needed and you require a specific record, retrieving that document will be quick and easy.  All business files should be organized securely in locked cabinets or in a protected area that is safe from unauthorized access. In relation to electronic information, always implement be proper password protection methods to limit the threat of hacking. Monitor general access and only provide it to staff that absolutely need access to carry out their job roles. Storing information that is no longer considered valued, may contribute to security threats in the future, and could even lead to a data breach.  Furthermore, you reduce the space in your office tremendously when you store records in-house that don’t actually require storing. Keep extra office space available for practical purposes!
  • Professional Document Shredding Solutions: The only form of document disposal that guarantees your security is through professional document shredding services. Document shredding is your legal obligation as a business owner, and hiring a team of shred specialists will ensure you are receiving the highest level of quality service. Consider hiring an experienced and quality provider like DataSafe, who practices industry leading shredding processes that include a secure chain of custody throughout the entire process. Like with all of our services, clients will be given a Certificate of Destruction after each shred job; this document discloses specific details as to what was shredded and when. It’s advisable to hang onto this document should you need to reference it down the road. 

Contact the professional team at DataSafe for further information surrounding our secure shredding solutions. As always, our specialists are more than happy to help you in choosing an appropriate shredding program for your company.  We are proud to offer endless flexible solutions.

Call DataSafe in Portland at 503-620-3423.

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