Lacking a Document Destruction Plan? Here’s What You Should Do

Document Destruction is an essential part of document management. As a company, data security and information technology is your responsibility and growing increasingly important for consumers, as well. Document destruction is an important part of that responsibility.

Despite it being such an important part of that responsibility, only one third of companies have a document destruction plan. And half of those who do lack a plan that includes electronic documents. This important facet of the document lifecycle is being overlooked and at a huge cost. After all, 61% of white collar crime is from inside the industry. Having documents with sensitive information not being properly destroyed makes in-office crime easier to occur.

But document destruction plan starts with the opposite: a document retention plan. All documents and files should have a clear outline for all employees of how long and how they are to be kept. These may vary from company to industry to legal guidelines but it is important to have a publicized and well-thought out plan for your employees.

For paper documents it is important to know where the documents will be kept, who has custody at what point, the method of security at each point (locked storage bins, offices, file cabinets, etc), and who is responsible for the completion of this process. This makes sure the documents are properly destroyed and put where they need to be. If you choose to destroy material out of house, ensure that it is not only destroyed but disposed of securely. In addition, ask for a certificate of destruction to make sure that has been destroyed to standards for your records. Regardless of whether or not destruction happens in or out of house, the actual destruction should be marked down in a log with a time, date, and method of disposal.

It is equally as important to complete document destruction for electronic documents. This does not just mean moving the documents to the recycling bin and hitting delete! That isn’t the safe or secure way of doing and the deleted information is not really gone. It is still stored on the hard drive which a malicious theft could access. Make sure to wipe the computer in its entirety with software designed to prevent recovery at any point. This can be accomplished by overwriting entire disks and drives before reuse to ensure that no unauthorized user has access.

Contact Biel’s today to learn more about the document life cycle process.