The Risky Business of Storing Paper

The business world has been going paperless for years now, since the early 1970’s to be exact. Forty years later, 90% of corporate information still exists on paper, making it an integral part of day-to-day operations in business. However, the risks of mismanaging and storing paper are easily forgotten and often overlooked.

Many paper documents are subject to strict regulations governing consumer privacy, meaning they can’t just be thrown in the trash or recycle bin. They need to be destroyed in a way that ensures data privacy is upheld. Mismanaging paper documents can potentially lead to high fines, lawsuits, damaged reputation, identity theft, lost customers and/or documents ending up somewhere they are never supposed to be, like a public place. Here are some of the ways that you can protect your paper documents and avoid these consequences. 

Limit personnel access 
Access to documents should be limited to only those who truly need the information, and their access should be monitored at all times. Sign-in and sign-out forms or swipe card-readers will greatly improve the security of document storage facilities.

Invest in paper-saving technology 
Documents should be as safe as possible from elements like fire and water to prevent the exponential costs that result for lost documents. Investing in fire prevention systems and non-water fire suppressant alternatives minimize risk to paper documents.

Consider moving records storage off-site 
Reputable document storage providers offer storage for your documents that protect them from fire, water damage or theft. Documents will be out of harm’s way should anything happen to your office and are still accessible by phone or email.

Securely destroy unnecessary documents 
Improperly disposing of obsolete documents can have catastrophic results. The same personnel and security considerations taken with storage should apply to destruction. Organizations should know who is responsible for handling, transporting and destroying documents to prevent loss.

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