All organizations in every industry collect and retain confidential information that needs to be protected. When private information isn’t securely destroyed and completely disposed of, the risks posed for criminal activity and information breaches are extremely high.
When this occurs, companies suffer irreparable damage from loss of business, customer distrust and privacy law violations. The stakes are too high not to have a shredding program for paper-based confidential documents and digital information stored in electronic items.
What Are Confidential Documents?
Any paperwork or electronic data containing private information about a person – whether they are a client, patient, customer or employee – is considered confidential. Confidential documents can also include management information (i.e. private employer/employee relations, salary information and home addresses), business information (i.e. proprietary commercial processes and company financial records) and professional information specific to different industries, such as medical, legal and accounting services.
Regardless of its form – physical or digital – it is essential everyone in your business understands how to identify and protect sensitive information to avoid serious outcomes. This includes ensuring that all data is completely destroyed and disposed of using a secure method of destruction at the end of its retention period.
Why Must Confidential Data Be Completely Destroyed?
When organizations fail to destroy and dispose of confidential business documents securely, several issues can arise:
1. Criminal Activity: When confidential waste falls into the wrong hands, it may be used for cyber attacks, identity theft, fraud or corporate espionage, which can degrade your company’s reputation and profits.
2. Loss of Business: When confidential information is breached, customers and clients may feel a sense of distrust, which can severely impact your bottom line.
3. Loss of Competitive Advantage: When confidential documents, such as trade secrets, intellectual property or marketing strategy, are unlawfully disclosed, you risk losing your company’s competitive edge.
4. Lower Morale: When private employee details are mishandled, shared or disclosed without consent, it can diminish employee trust, loyalty and confidence within your organization.
5. Fines for Privacy Law Non-Compliance: The Personal Information Protection & Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) is the Canadian federal law that specifies rules for how companies can collect, use and disclose information about individuals. If your organization fails to protect the confidentiality of its sensitive information, you will face substantial fines for non-compliance.
How To Completely Dispose of Confidential Documents?
Even though companies have made great strides toward storing data electronically, many businesses have not achieved a completely paperless office. Therefore, a two-pronged approach is necessary when destroying unwanted documents and confidential data stored electronically.
Destroying Confidential Paper-Based Documents Securely
Shredding is the gold standard when it comes to destroying documents securely. Non-shredded documents thrown into garbage cans and recycling bins can lead to severe consequences. All it takes is for one file to fall into the wrong hands for a security breach, information leak or fraud to occur.
Some businesses opt for in-house shredding machines to destroy confidential documents. However, this method rarely saves employees time as they deal with frequent jams, breakdowns and slow machines. Shredded paper also remains at risk, especially when in-house shredding equipment destroys confidential paper documents into strips, which malicious individuals can reconstruct.
A more efficient and secure alternative is hiring a professional shredding provider to destroy sensitive information safely.
Destroying Digital Documents Stored Electronically
Simply wiping, overwriting, burning or degaussing data stored on digital devices, such as hard disk drives, backup tapes, optical media or mobile data devices, isn’t enough to make documents unreadable and ensure that confidential information is securely erased.
Instead, digital storage devices must be securely destroyed with a physical method of destruction to ensure that all parts of the device are shredded into small shards to protect confidentiality. Unlike other methods, heavy-duty shredding machines completely grind up and destroy every single part of the device so that no section or tract is readable.
With professional hard drive shredding, you can be confident that any private data left on your electronic items can never be recovered or stolen.
Choose a Professional Shredding Service For Secure Destruction
Working with a professional shredding service is the easiest and most convenient way to securely destroy confidential paper documents and electronic data.
When you hire a mobile shredding service, unwanted documents and digital devices are securely destroyed in an industrial shredding truck at your premises. Not only will you be able to witness destruction before your eyes, but it’s also the most secure and effective method of destruction. All materials, including paper documents, hard drives, digital media and unwanted products, are destroyed into small crosscut pieces and mixed with the shredded material from multiple locations. Doing so ensures that information can never be reconstructed to prevent identity theft, fraud or cyber attacks.
At the end of every shred service, you’ll receive a Certificate of Destruction, which is an official document that contains detailed information about the service and ensures that the shredding process complies with privacy laws. The certificate also validates that the shredded paper and digital media were properly recycled.
Dispose of Confidential Business Documents With Blue-Pencil
Don’t leave one of your most valuable assets to chance. Ensure your company’s critical documents and data stay confidential with our NAID AAA Certified shredding service.
At Blue-Pencil, we provide a range of options for our shredding customers to keep document security at the forefront of your business. Whether you have a filing cabinet of papers to destroy or an office full of documents, we accommodate jobs of all sizes with our one-time and reoccurring mobile shredding services, helping you securely dispose of confidential documents, computer hard drives, non-paper media and unwanted products.
To learn more about our shredding services in the Greater Toronto area and how we can keep your data secure, contact our customer service team for a free quote.
Take Our Free Document Security Assessment
Want to find out your organization’s most significant security gaps? Complete our quick Document Security Assessment to learn how to better protect confidential documentation and digital documents.