Creating a Shred Policy for Your Business

Oct 16 2020 | John Barwick

Creating a Shred Policy with River Mill Data Management

It’s easy for shredding to take a back burner to other organizational initiatives, but it’s critical to develop policies, procedures, and practices that support organizational and client security. Proprietary business information and confidential client information – like credit card numbers and social security numbers – leave organizations every day in the form of paper waste. This information can quickly land in the hands of ill-willed criminals, looking to steal priority information or compromise the security of your clients by hacking into their bank accounts or stealing their identity.  A carefully considered document destruction policy can help you mitigate risk, protect your assets, and provide your clients with the privacy the expect and deserve from your organization. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

100% Shred Policy

Like many businesses, you probably have a policy in place that outlines records retention guidelines and records destruction guidelines, clearly communicating which documents are safe to throw in the trash and which documents should be shredded. Although these policies are effective in theory, they’re very difficult to apply and enforce in practice. In fact, when paper can be discarded into the trash bin or placed in a shred bin, many documents that should be shredded end up in the trash instead, again putting your organization and its clients at risk of a security breach if that information lands in the wrong hands. Instead, many organizations are implementing 100% shred policies, outlining the expectation that any piece of paper that leaves the organization leaves in a shred bin (and then is shredded by an on-site shredding vendor in most cases) rather than a trash bin. This is much safer, much more effective in practice, and much easier to enforce.

Record Retention Schedule

Records retention schedules vary per industry and type of record; employment and payroll documents, for example, have a different retention period than tax filings, pharmaceutical research documents, and medical records. Your records retention policy should cover two primary bases: 

  • How long to retain each document, taking special care to address all areas of business and all of the types of information exchanged within the business, and
  • How to safely and legally purge or destroy documents once the retention period has expired. 

Giving workers one central policy to reference as they work through archiving and eventually destroying expired documents will support consistent compliance and make diligence as convenient as possible, providing increased protection for both the organization and it’s stakeholders.

Contact River Mill Data Management

River Mill is your local, on-site mobile shredding vendor. You can set up a schedule in advance if you know the frequency of your shredding needs and an on-site shredding truck will come exactly when you need them and shred your documents right on-site for peace of mind. If your needs fluctuate, you can order on-site document shredding on request and we’ll head out to care of you whenever your bins and full and you need us. To take the first step toward enhanced security today, reach out to the security experts at River Mill by filling out our online request here

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