Are Your Paper Documents a Liability?
Many businesses today are striving to use less paper and gain control over their paper and printing costs. But, the fact remains that we still have to print business documents on a daily basis—many of which contain confidential or privileged information. Though most businesses take care to safeguard their digital data with password-protected folders and backup solutions, many neglect to give the same protection to paper documents.
In today’s world of identity theft, privacy violations, and information fraud, it is more important than ever to protect your paper data by shredding and destroying sensitive information. Here are some reasons why it makes good business sense to shred your paper documents.
Protect Your Business – In many cases, courts have ruled that if data ends up in the trash, it’s readily and legally available to anyone who finds it. By not taking proper precautions to protect your business data, your company could be vulnerable to business espionage. Be sure to shred everything from financial records, to business proposals and patent applications.
Protect Your Customers – In order to maintain your professional credibility, your business has an obligation to protect the confidential information provided by your customers. They trust you to keep their information confidential and not let it fall into the wrong hands. Maintain your relationship of trust with your clients by making their safety your priority. Be sure to shred everything from their email lists, to credit card authorization forms, and shipping data.
Protect Your Employees – At many companies, people are the most valuable resource. If you’re a business owner, it’s your moral and legal responsibility to conduct your business in such a way that keeps your employees’ information private and secure. Whether it is job applications, time cards, or health records, you must ensure that these documents are properly shredded before disposal.
Protect the Environment – Shredding can actually help your company reach its sustainability initiatives, as shredded paper is easy to recycle. According to the EPA, making one ton of paper using recycled fiber saves 17 trees, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, 360 gallons of water, 100 gallons of gasoline, 60 pounds of air pollutants, and 10,401 kilowatts of electricity—talk about GOING GREEN!
State and Federal Compliance – Last, but not least, the privacy of consumer data has become a hot-button issue at both the state and federal levels of government. Several laws, such as HIPAA (healthcare), Gramm-Leach-Bliley (financial), and FACTA (credit), require physical safeguards like shredding to meet compliance standards.