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Spring officially greets us on 20 March, so is it time to ‘Spring Clean’ your document storage and destruction processes?

By clearing out old files and destroying outdated or documents no longer needed, you can actually help create space around the office. Our advice is to apply a spring cleaning policy to your own business practice to ensure that old, outdated and unwanted sensitive information is securely scanned, stored or destroyed.

Doing so will also help you avoid exposing confidential information that can increase the potential risk of a data breach, resulting in fraud or identity theft, not just your company but for your customers too. 

Know when to scan, store and when to dispose

Many businesses are required by law to keep confidential client information, as well as employee or company data for a minimum amount of time. There are numerous business records that should be held for up to a minimum of six years, which can include employee agreements, business loan documentation, litigation records, as well as general expense reports and records including overhead expenses and professional consultation fees.

Other documents may be kept for shorter, longer or an indefinite period of time and it’s important to know what legal requirements are enforced for your industry to not only stay compliant, but to also dispose of documents you may no longer need.

The risks of keeping old documents containing sensitive data can be high, possibly resulting in identity theft, fraud and potential financial loss or reputational damage.

Security policy tips

Here are some tips for how your company can implement organisational information security policies for employees:

  1. Create a retention policy: Determine which documents need to be kept and for how long. Limit the number of personnel who have access to files and storage closets and practice a company-wide commitment to this practice.
  2. Clearly, mark a destruction date: The destruction date should be clearly marked on all records that are in storage. All file boxes should contain complete lists of their contents in a visible spot on the outside of the box so it is easily identifiable.
  3. Hire a reliable third-party vendor for your document scanning, storage or destruction needs that will provide you with a certificate of destruction upon completion and also provide an opportunity for this material to be recycled once destroyed.
  4. Out with the old, in with the new. Implement document destruction processes on a regular basis. Overhauling your current disposal process with a commitment to continuously destroying confidential data in a secure manner is one of the ways to mitigate the risks associated with data breaches.
  5. Electronic sources: Erasing disks and drives is no guarantee that the data will be wholly eliminated. Physical destruction, rendering the object unreadable by any machine is the safest option.

Developing a clear set of guidelines throughout your business will ensure that the decision to properly manage your information is taken out of individual hands and minimise the risk of a data breach within your business.

Why choose Restore?

Reduce risk

With a full range of data management solutions, digital scanning, records storage and confidential shredding, we ensure sole chain of custody, reducing the risk to your confidential data. Using multiple providers increases the number of times your information is handled, therefore increasing the risk of a data breach.

National coverage

Restore operates across the UK, providing reliable and flexible data management services for all of our customers, at a local level.

Industry leading customer service

Restore is the only data solutions company holding the Institute of Customer Service 'Service Mark' for consistently high levels of customer service and customer satisfaction

Security

Prior to employment, every employee is vetted to BS 7858 standard, including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (previously CRB check).

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