Regardless of the industry and the size of your company, we live in an age where all businesses must remain vigilant against information breaches. Confidential business-related data and client and employee information require extra care and attention, especially when being disposed of. When it comes to remaining compliant with privacy laws, your company must have a clearly defined information destruction policy to ensure that smart and secure disposal practices are followed for everyone’s safety.
What is an Information Destruction Policy?
An information destruction policy is a formal, company-wide, written policy that directs employees to securely dispose of documents when they are no longer needed. Instead of disposing information in a trash can or recycling bin, an information destruction policy will specify a secure method of destruction so confidential data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. The document may also contain what types of information must be destroyed.
Benefits of a Document Shredding Policy
Having a document destruction policy in place provides many benefits to your organization:
- Protects employee and client personal information
Whether you are in the medical, legal, financial, or some other industry, an information destruction policy protects your employees and clients from corporate espionage and identity theft. Your policy should cover the proper disposal of all types of materials that relate to your business, including personal client and employee information, invoices, important files, and more. When documents are improperly disposed of, there simply is no protection from a serious privacy breach.
- Protects competitive-sensitive information
Companies invest thousands of dollars into computer security, yet trash cans and blue bins remain an area of risk. All it takes is for an employee to throw printed confidential data into the garbage for a serious information leak to occur. An information policy is the best way to protect your business’s trade secrets, sensitive information, and financials – and your reputation and revenue.
- Maintains Personal Information Protection & Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) compliance
PIPEDA is the federal law in Canada that establishes rules for how organizations can collect, use, or disclose information about individuals. This also includes having a written information destruction policy in place for businesses that collect personal information regarding clients, patients, or employees. To remain compliant with PIPEDA, the policy should cover guidelines and procedures for collecting and retaining information, but also when to dispose of information and how. Without an information policy in place, your company could pay hefty fines imposed by PIPEDA.
- Provides clear direction to all employees
A key component to any shredding policy is employee orientation and on-going training. This ensures that all employees are aware of which confidential materials should be shredded and when. Incorporating a shred-all strategy in your information policy reduces the risk of a security breach and improves compliance since there are clear directives in place. By removing human error or general carelessness, security becomes embedded into workplace processes, helping to foster awareness and compliance.
- Promotes responsibility for all
Personal information is a liability and it must be disposed of properly to lessen the risk of a security breach. This is a huge responsibly for any organization and it takes a village to remain compliant. A document shredding policy reinforces that all employees play a vital role in information security with actional steps and parameters for their success.
- Ensures proper recycling of materials
Having a document shredding policy in place not only keeps your confidential information secure, but that all materials are diverted from landfills and properly recycled. Being sustainable is a core priority for all businesses and organizations. When there is no room for error, it ensures that all shredded material is recycled and processed into recycled paper products for the greater good of the environment.
How to Implement an Information Policy?
To avoid a devasting privacy breach and to remain compliant with PIPEDA, you should implement a document shredding policy for your company as soon as possible. The best way to do that is by selecting an approved document destruction provider that can help you create an information management strategy that includes an information destruction policy with proper employee orientation and training. This provider will also handle all aspects of your document shredding, from collection to secure on-site destruction and proper recycling.
Close the Gap on Information Security with a Shredding Policy
At Blue-Pencil, we offer fast and effective on-site shredding for all of your document destruction needs. By working with a certified company like ours, we can ensure that your sensitive data is securely destroyed and recycled in the best possible way. We can also help you create a formal destruction policy to keep your business compliant with PIPEDA.