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Use A Business Records Retention Schedule to Get Rid of Old Confidential Information

Business Records Retention Schedule

Cleaning up your office space every quarter is necessary in order to keep confidential information secure. Not only does the process of cleaning up create physical space, it allows your company to purge old paper documents and information storage devices that have been sitting around. These items, if left in piles or in unlocked drawers, can end up being prime targets for identity thieves.

The best way to get rid of confidential information that is no longer relevant is to set up a business records retention schedule. This is a process where every so often (could be monthly, quarterly or annually), the company goes through its records (both paper and digital), to determine what is still necessary to keep on file.

Of course, it can be difficult to decide which or what type of confidential information needs to be shredded or destroyed. There may be certain records which need to be kept for a longer period of time, but it’s important that those items which are no longer relevant be shredded or destroyed.

The records management life cycle begins when information is created and ends when the information is destroyed. The ultimate goal is for organizations to monitor the cycle on a regular basis to determine when they should go through a purge of their files.

Specifically, in the healthcare industry, there are state regulations which apply to the length of time you can keep a patient’s medical records. There are record retention guidelines for the healthcare industry, but they vary by state. When the patient is a minor, the company should retain health information until the patient reaches the age of majority (usually 18), plus the period of the statute of limitations.

There are several reasons why a business records retention schedule is important in the healthcare industry:

  • It’s crucial to ensure the availability of timely, relevant data and information for patient care
  • It’s essential to meet federal, state, and local legal requirements regarding confidential data
  • It’s wise to reduce the risk of legal discovery and identity theft

There is not a standardized business records retention schedule that companies and organizations must follow. There are a variety of retention requirements that must be met, but each company can develop their own customized retention program. Individual states have retention requirements that should be used, so you should refer to your state laws for specific requirements.

Remember, confidential information on hard drives and other electronic media also require shredding and destruction. Thieves are using advanced data retrieval software that can recover deleted information, so simply hitting the delete button won’t work. Shredding or destroying the information storage device takes it to another level so that the data is irretrievable.

Although there are many ways to dispose of important documents and electronics, the most secure and cost-effective method would be to hire local document shredding services. Mobile shredding trucks can come straight to your location and perform the shredding right there on site. It truly is the most secure and cost-effective way to shred.

IntelliShred has led the shredding and destruction industry for 20 years. Our team provides customers with confidential data destruction and information security solutions. We are committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards and practices, and outstanding, personalized service. We’re proud to be members of the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and we have consistently achieved AAA Certification – the highest level of security in the shredding industry.

Contact us today for more information of how we can help keep your information safe and secure.

Commercial Shredding Services

Companies are struggling to protect confidential information from risk of theft. It’s something no company should have to face, but ultimately, it happens to everyone at some point. The best thing to do is to learn what measures you can take to protect your confidential information.

No matter what industry or business you’re in, your company will collect sensitive information from employees, customers and partners. Without focusing on how to protect this information, you may face a significant risk of identity theft or fraud. It’s important to shred any unnecessary business documents, or other media that contain sensitive information.

Even government agencies have experienced intense security breaches and have faced lawsuits for not protecting their confidential information. Not handling your sensitive information properly has its consequences. Large businesses, and corporations should adhere to the strict regulations that are in place today. Breach of privacy regulations like HIPAA, FACTA and GLB can result in a corporation facing heavy fines, or even jail for its corporate officers.

Most organizations believe that economical smaller office shredders are good investments, however, these methods are not efficient, nor are they secure. Small shredders do not completely destroy documents or other forms of data, and are not reliable for the disposal of sensitive information. Because of this, there are some instances where confidential information may end up sitting around in an office somewhere or dumped in a regular trash can.

It’s easier than you think to protect your company from risk. It’s simply a matter of working with third-party commercial shredding services. These types of services provide you with certification of destruction and the peace of mind knowing you’ve lessened your company’s liability for the breach of confidential information. It’s best to choose a partner who is NAID AAA Certified, and has state of the art mobile shredding capabilities as well. Professional shredding and destruction services are an extremely low-cost, convenient solution.

Third-party commercial shredding services can help your business destroy documents or digital files which contain confidential or proprietary information, such as:

  • Bank Account Statements
  • Client Lists
  • Credit Card Information
  • Employee Applications & Other Records
  • Insurance Records
  • Proprietary Information
  • Market Research
  • Accounting Information

There are some businesses that generate larger amounts of paper on a daily basis – for them, commercial shredding services are even more essential. When you find the right vendor for your business you will rest easy knowing you’re risk of identity theft has been significantly reduced.

Whether it’s a one-time shredding service, or a regularly scheduled shred for your business, IntelliShred has the right combination of equipment, tools and staff, capable to meet your product destruction, shredding and disposal needs.

We have over 30 years of experience and are leaders in the industry. Our highly-qualified team can help you adhere to privacy regulations and ensure your sensitive information is secured. We know that your protecting information is crucial to your business. Contact us today for more information on our secure, and reliable commercial shredding services.

Protect Confidential Information

In today’s world, identity theft has become a regular occurrence – and it’s now easier to steal someone’s confidential information, because it exists in other forms, not only on paper. More companies are digitally storing their customer lists, pricing information, proprietary technology, employee information and other assets and they can be compromised if they’re not protected.

With security threats on the rise, it can be challenging to protect confidential information of your employees and customers. Each year, fraud costs businesses over $3 trillion worldwide – you can’t afford to have your company suffer the consequences of losing important information.

The most common risk that businesses may face is when any employee leaves their organization. Because of the former employee’s access to confidential information, it’s difficult to know if they will disclose it to a competitor or have it fall into the wrong hands. Any company should be careful to limit access to protect confidential information for their employees.

Another important way to protect confidential information is to ensure that computer access is monitored. There should be a process put in place which mandates that hard copies of documents are locked up, and that all electronic copies are password protected. Every employee handbook should contain a confidentiality policy that is specific to the business. This policy should have procedures for how to specifically handle every type of confidential information – paper, digital, and online files.

No matter the amount of policies and procedures, identity theft can still occur, even when you’re monitoring your employees to protect confidential information. The easiest way to eliminate your risk of identity theft is to make sure all paper documents and digital storage devices are destroyed instead of being thrown out or recycled. Every company faces this challenge differently, but for the most part, the most efficient and secure way to do this is to hire a third-party professional shredding company.

This option is the best solution for businesses, because it’s the most secure. Typically, a specially trained, uniformed service representative will come to pick up the items which need to be shredded/destroyed. If the service has a mobile truck, then the items will be shredded on site. If not, they will haul your items away to their shredding facility. Afterwards, there is a Certificate of Destruction which proves the shredding/destruction was done properly and that disposal or recycling of specific materials was done in an environmentally-friendly manner

At IntelliShred, we have the right combination of equipment, tools and staff, capable to meet your product destruction, shredding and disposal needs. With over 30 years of experience within the industry, our team can help you maintain compliance with privacy regulations and ensure your confidentiality is secured. Everything will be destroyed in accordance with all federal and state regulations. Our Certificate of Destruction can be used to show compliance with product destruction recall requirements. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you protect confidential information and avoid the risk of identity theft.

What To Shred

Most of us know that we should shred our personal documents. However, you might not know just how easy it is for identity thieves these days, even with strip cutting.

We all have so many documents. It’s all too easy to overlook a certain kind of document that seems innocuous.

This is why, to drive down identity theft, everyone should learn what to shred.

So we’re going to do the public a service and list the top 5 things that everyone should shred religiously.

  1. Your Personal Information

Shred anything with your:

  • account numbers
  • passwords
  • signatures

Destroy monthly bills that contain your:

  • full name
  • address
  • signature
  • account details

The most important things to shred include:

  • bank correspondences
  • expired identity cards
  • expired credit and debit cards
  • tax related documents that are older than 7 years old
  1. Your Social Security Number

Your social security number is as good as gold to identity thieves. This is why you should destroy any unnecessary documents containing your social security number.

What if you notice that there’s a persistent source of documents containing it? In that case, it’s worthwhile to ask the provider if they can withhold your social security number from printed forms as an extra precaution.

  1. Utility And Credit Card Bills

Your bills and account information won’t open as many doors as your social security number will, but a clever thief can still use them against you.

It’s important to remember that any of your financial information can be used against you. This includes your utility bills and credit card bills.

When thinking about what to shred, always remember that this sort of information is useful to thieves. Therefore it should be shredded religiously.

  1. Credit Card Offers

Yes, even those annoying spammy credit card offers you receive in the mail must be taken out right away and shredded promptly.

Why is this necessary you ask?

It’s a sad fact of life that identity theft is most often perpetuated by those who know us well. This includes friends, neighbors, and even family members.

Any of the above people can fill out one of these forms, claim your new credit card and then proceed to destroy your credit rating without your knowledge.

  1. Expired Or Cancelled Credit Cards

It may come as a surprise to some, but thieves actually love finding expired or cancelled credit cards. Why?

Well, oftentimes renewed credit cards have the same account number as the expired or cancelled card. Often times the only difference between the two cards is the expiration date. This makes stealing your new account easy.

Even cancelled credit card accounts provide a way for thieves to gain access to your new account, or to open a new account under your name.

As you can see, the number of ways that identity thieves can use your personal information is scary. The best way to protect your identity is to learn what to shred and then shred religiously. If you have too many things to shred on your own, our mobile paper shredding service can help.

Document Shredding Company

Data loss and data breaches have recently become some of the most talked about topics in the business community. This is no doubt because of the media frenzy surrounding Apple and AOL when they grappled with their own data losses.

And it’s even worse for small businesses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 70% of businesses that lose client data end up shutting down within seven months.

How A Data Breach Can Ruin Your Business

Data loss isn’t good for anybody. The costs of losing financial data are due to the following reasons:

  • bad for business
  • bad for stakeholders: can lead to costly litigation
  • bad for business reputation

These three things combined can easily kill any business.

Benefits of Hiring A Document Shredding Company

On the other hand, hiring a document shredding company can potentially save your business from financial ruin. Not only that, but hiring a document shredding company will also improve your company and brand’s reputation.

Your clients will appreciate the value you place on their privacy and confidentiality. There’s no better way to show your commitment than to hire a document shredding company. And it will ensure the safety of your clients’ information all the time.

How A Professional Document Shredding Company Works

Shredding documents is the best way to ensure that no one can access your important data. In fact, analysts now argue that a professional shredding service is more important than ever for guaranteeing secure financial management.

Your documents will be destroyed in our state-of-the-art shredding truck, on your property. When you opt for onsite document shredding, the documents will never leave your sight. An authorized client representative will watch the document destruction with you to ensure all the documents are destroyed. Then, the documents will be recycled into another paper product.

Do I Really Need A Document Shredding Company?

First, it must be said that the law requires businesses to have a data protection system in place to protect their customers and employees. Shredding is an important part of this system.

For most businesses there are certain sensitive documents that need to be destroyed immediately. These documents may contain important financial info or social security numbers.

On-site shredding services are the most effective and convenient way for a business to destroy documents. It also lends the business more credibility when dealing with a credible NAID certified document shredding company.

And finally, remember that thieves are just as likely to target businesses as they’re to target consumers. So, consider involving a document shredding company in your overall business strategy.

Data Shredding Services

Cybercrime has become one of the largest concerns for business owners today, and data shredding services can help ease these concerns. Reports state that in about 5 years, cybercrime could cost companies about $6 trillion worth of annual damages. These damages would not only impact companies, but could also extend to government agencies, nonprofits and private citizens.

Examples of the damages include, destruction or theft of money, intellectual property, personal or financial data by hackers. Then there are the other types of damages like loss of employee productivity, embezzlement, fraud, forensic investigations or other restoration efforts.

It’s apparent that a significant portion of cybercrime is not always calculated properly due to unreported crimes, but there are have been recent successes of law enforcement against criminal organizations worldwide.

With the large quantity of confidential information stolen, it can be challenging to protect your employees and customers. Don’t compromise your security by not utilizing data shredding services for your business.

IntelliShred has the equipment, tools and staff available to meet your legal paper shredding, hard drive shredding and disposal needs. With over 30 years of experience within the industry, our team can help you maintain compliance with privacy regulations and ensure your confidentiality is secured.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can assess what type of data shredding services your company can benefit from.

Sources: Report by Cybersecurity Ventures/The Herjavec Group

Small Business Fraud Prevention – 4 Practices

Regardless of whether your business is big or small, fraud is a problem that arises in many different ways and affects workplaces of all types.  It can take place in the form of theft, forgery and computer crime, as well as other types of “white collar” crimes.  If your company is targeted by such crimes, it could lead to significant consequences.

So what are some things that your business can do to protect itself and decrease the chances of fraudulent activity from occurring?  Here are 4 simple practices you should consider implementing if you haven’t already for small business fraud prevention:

Take Advantage of Document Shredding Services

Look after all of your sensitive documents securely and safely.  Consider outsourcing your document destruction requirements to a professional paper shredding service for added small business fraud prevention.  Place secure, lockable shred bins, beside each desk and set up centralized collection spots in high traffic areas for document disposal.  In doing this, your employees will effortlessly be able to get rid of confidential documents in a secure manner.  These shred containers should remain locked until your document shredding company arrives to empty them.  To put it simply, a professional document shredding company will keep your business safe from internal and external fraud.

Establish an Anti-Fraud Policy and Put it in Writing

Establishing a work atmosphere that is based on honesty and trust tells your staff that you are taking the precautionary measures necessary to reduce the risks of fraud.  It is also important that you put any policies surrounding ethical behavior in writing to ensure that each individual is fully aware of the specific policies in regards to fraud and the consequences of breaking them.

Supply an Anonymous Source for Tips/Reports

Make sure that you have a method in place for employees to report any suspicions or tips about the potential of fraudulent activities.  Be sure that each of your employees understands your small business fraud prevention procedure and the fact that they are encouraged to report any concerns they may have, no matter how small.  Studies have shown that the majority of fraudulent occurrences (over 50%) are in fact picked up on and addressed by employees.  As a business owner, it is important that you pay close attention to potential warning signs, and always listen to the tips/advice that you receive from your staff.

Background Checks

For the safety of both your employees and your customers, it is a good idea to make your hiring process include background checks on any and all potential employees.  This is especially important for individuals being hired for “high-risk” positions such as those in the finance industry or customer service roles that require ongoing access to customers’ personal information.

At IntelliShred, our local shredding company of industry professionals offer document shredding solutions that contribute towards making your work environment secure and well-managed.  Call us today at 1-866-747-3360 to speak with one of our representatives about your document shredding options and small business fraud prevention needs.