A good identity thief knows which businesses to target so they can get the most bang for their dumpster-diving buck. Simply throwing a papers full of sensitive information into the trash won't cut it anymore. You need to have a plan and a policy in place, otherwise, you're sending out an invitation for trouble.
Do All Businesses Need Shredding Services?
Some businesses only need shredding services once in a while, other businesses need it on a regular schedule. When selecting the service frequency, consider how often your company handles or transfers confidential information.
Law firms, banks, and CPA offices are some of the institutions that benefit from high-volume shredding services. From settlements to bank statements to tax documentation, personal information flows in and out of these doors on a daily basis. Of course, there are also less obvious sources of identity leaks, and those weak spots need to be guarded against as well.
What Kind Of Documents Need To Be Shredded?
Any documentation that contains personal identifiers needs to be destroyed in a safe and secure manner, such as:
- a person’s name
- social security number
- bank account
- other private information
Your first clue in deciding whether you need shredding services is to look for any paperwork that involves:
- business clients
When Should Stored Information Be Shredded?
It depends on the circumstances that made it necessary to store the documentation in the first place. Employee information is kept on file for the duration of an employee's tenure. Student information is kept on file for 7 to 10 years after graduation. Information pertaining to personal finances should be shredded every 7 years.
Account information for clients, customers, and vendors will depend on the shredding policy held by the business. Review it often and shred anything you could be held liable for or sued over if it fell into the wrong hands.
Medical and legal records should be maintained most frequently. These documents are of a highly sensitive nature and regulations clearly dictate the applications of confidentiality guidelines.
Follow a few simple rules, institute and enforce some policies to back those rules up, and you have confidential document management in the bag, quite literally. It really can be streamlined.
Based on what you've read above, shredding preparation may seem like a full-time job, but the right service can keep things organized and moving like a well-oiled machine. UCI, a full service copier company in Amarillo, Texas, can help you develop and execute a plan that protects your business and clientele from identity theft.