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Disposing of business files securely

business files

No matter the industry or company size, confidential files and documents need to be disposed of correctly. Indeed, this is a crucial aspect of maintaining your Business Security, and thus anything relating to the following areas may need to be destroyed safely after use:

Redundant HR files (i.e. those of former staff and have had their legal retention period expire)

Accounts documents that have high-risk information

Sales and Marketing information that may contain damaging information on customers, competitors, or the company itself

Sensitive product files and data

 

Of course, what should and shouldn’t be disposed of varies from business to business, so it’s always best to check the suitability of documents and apply common sense before removing them. But some files will always need to be destroyed, so what’s the most secure and effective way to do this?

 

Why do I need to dispose of confidential business documents?

The risk of a security breach should be enough to incentivise companies to safely destroy sensitive and redundant files on their own. Since May 2018, however, there has also been a new legal obligation for businesses to adhere to. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to ensure that personal data is safe in company hands, meaning firms comply with certain security regulations. So, you face potentially damaging information leaks as well as financial penalties if documents aren’t correctly dealt with.

 

Minimising the threat to business security

Thankfully, there are several ways to dispose of different files. Below we have the safest and most effective measures to have in place for your business security:

 

Digital Information

The GDPR covers sensitive information that’s stored online by companies as well. Thus, when you no longer need to store specific data, it’s imperative you remove it to prevent a costly Cyber Breach. The best ways to do this are:

Use an in-house or hired IT Department to ‘clean’ digital storage and encrypt data

Destroy hard drives, computers and laptops after use – recycle them instead of reselling

 

Paper Documents

For physical information, the secure and GDPR-compliant ways of disposal include:

Shredding documents in a crosscut machine

Hiring a one-off service to gather and destroy sensitive files at your company

 

General security practices

Whether you work mainly with digital or physical data, businesses should aim to have a document disposal policy in place to improve their overall security. This involves measures that make it clear to employees what needs destroying and how, as well as setting up a safe and secure storage area. General practices like this should significantly reduce any threats to your company and help you to remain GDPR-compliant.

 

For more information, you can Read Our Guide on Managing Paper Documents Here.


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