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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.

Identity Theft At Work

Many people equate the shredding process only with the destruction of business documents, hard copy credit card statements and other important papers. However, in order prevent information data breaches, it’s absolutely necessary to shred and destroy digital storage devices as well, to have more layers of protection.

Today’s business information is mostly stored digitally, but do not assume that it can be kept safe with just a password. It’s best to make sure your company is utilizing firewalls, spyware and other tools to maintain the security of their computers and media storage devices.

Identity thieves have continued to successfully de-fraud corporations, organizations and individuals. Some of the most secure companies have been breached, even the U.S. Government. Businesses which store any kind of confidential, sensitive or personal information, could be held liable if it is stolen.

To combat against identity theft at work, companies should integrate the following three steps:

Shred Regularly

It’s essential for companies to make shredding and destruction part of their normal business operations. The more often shredding takes place, the less risk of important information getting into the wrong hands. If proprietary research, trade secrets, customer information, and other information is stolen, your business could suffer a significant financial loss or a damaged reputation.

Computer Recycling

Most people don’t know this, but some of the basic components in older computers can be reused. Whether it’s the keyboard, the housing or the monitor, all those pieces of plastic, metal and glass can definitely be recycled. Computers also contain certain toxic materials, like lead and cadmium, which should not be thrown away in the garbage and sent to the landfill. Most computer recycling centers have drop-off stations where you can bring your computers to be recycled.

Choose the Right Shredding & Destruction Service

Destroying documents and other storage devices should be a part of every company’s operations. For confidential or sensitive information, shredding may not be adequate. There are professional business shredding services that will adhere to the necessary federal guidelines to make sure your business is compliant. Make sure to choose an accredited service which provides a certificate of destruction to guarantee the process was executed securely.

Shredding and destruction of documents and information storage devices is essential to protect confidential information. Not only does it keep identity thieves away, it reduces the size of the waste, allowing for greater ease of transportation and recycling or disposal.

In order to avoid identity theft at work, hire a shredding and destruction service. Using a mobile shredding paper service will help protect your clients and staff from identity theft. This is the safest and most effective way to avoid security risks. Because of the large number of instances of identity theft at work, it’s wise to put safeguards in place for your business.

IntelliShred is a professional shredding and destruction service which has been awarded the highest security rating, “AAA Certified” by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). Contact us today to learn more about our 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.

Professional Shredding Company

In today’s corporate environment, there’s been an overwhelming increase in identity theft from businesses – and it has continued to be huge liability issue. Your company’s confidential documents are always at risk, no matter if they’re stored in file cabinets or on digital media devices. It’s always possible for employees, clients or other outside vendors to gain access to that information and exploit it.

The only way to combat this risk and protect your company’s confidential information, is to hire a professional shredding company. There are several credible services out there, but it’s important to consider several factors when you search for a reputable shredding company.

There are special certifications that shredding companies should have under their belt. The one with the highest level of accreditation is the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). The NAID has the highest level of professional security standards for the industry. The professional shredding company you hire should be a NAID certified shredding company, and must follow their code of ethics and any other industry requirements.

The next important factor in your selection process should be the level of security this professional shredding company has. Document destruction companies should carefully select their employees and provide you with proof of their background checks. You must inquire about their shredding process and ask for a step by step description of how it works, even down to the type of containers they use for transporting documents prior to shredding. If your company deals with medical information, it’s crucial that you hire a document shredding company that’s in compliance with current HIPAA requirements.

A professional shredding company is equipped to handle the destruction of tons of classified and confidential documents for businesses on-site. When you select a shredding service, make sure they guarantee your documents will be destroyed on-site.

There are other companies that only do off-site shredding – they physically remove your documents from your business and then transports them to their shredding facility. With this type of service, you run the risk of your documents being misplaced, lost, or falling into the wrong hands. It’s much wiser to hire a shredding company that provides on-site shredding and emergency shredding services.

Corporate shredding services must have state of the art shredding equipment available to you. They should handle way more than just paper shredding – they should have the ability to destroy discs of all formats, media components and other devices. As you search for the perfect shredding company, be sure to look for one that provides full-service.

IntelliShred has been a shredding industry leader since 1999. We have pride in our confidential data destruction and the other information security solutions that we offer. 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.

As an experienced, professional shredding company can help your business block the risk of identity theft. We have the latest in shredding equipment and the capacity to recycle paper, floppy drives, CD’s and DVD’s, Video Cassettes, Microfilm, Microfiche and much more. Contact us today and let us help you keep your confidential information safe from harm’s way.

Corporate Identity Theft

Consumers can be a prime target for identity theft, but most business owners assume that they won’t face the same level of risk. Even with security measures in place to safeguard your client’s confidential information, corporate identity theft can occur. The more you can do to protect your organization’s information from theft, the better.

Most often, corporate identity theft includes a breach of personal information on clients or employees. However, it can also include the theft of a company’s proprietary information, credit information, bank statements and other sensitive data. Although recycling paper helps the environment, certain documents should never be thrown into the trash or recycling bin.

If confidential information falls into the wrong hands, your business could suffer immensely. The thief can impersonate you and others within your business to steal from the company. Whether it’s running up credit card bills, purchasing equipment, applying for business loans, or using information for their personal gain, corporate identity thieves show no mercy.

There are many types of corporate identity theft, but the most common is a cyberattack. This type of attack involves a hacker that is able to steal company information by hacking into a server or individual computer. Of course, this is done without the organization’s knowledge, in the same way data breaches affect consumers.

Other types of theft include when physical company documents or records are stolen. It can happen either from within the business at the hands of an employee or even if paperwork is mishandled or improperly discarded.

Regularly changing logins, passwords and other methods for accessing corporate bank accounts, credit cards and other important files can help prevent corporate identity theft. Company employees can sometimes be duped into logging into a fake website which matches the one they normally log into. After they log in, the hacker can easily steal information to get account numbers, trade secrets, proprietary formulas and more.

Phishing is another way that identity thieves will try. An employee may receive company emails that appear to be from a trusted source but contain fake links. Once these links are clicked upon, hackers can access to the company’s network. Phishing emails can also dupe employees into providing logins and other sensitive information.

Any size company can be vulnerable to corporate identity theft, so it’s absolutely crucial to put safeguards in place that will protect your business. To ensure that your company does not fall prey to criminals, be sure to update safety procedures, train your team on how to spot phishing attempts and definitely implement a shredding policy and schedule.

IntelliShred has been awarded the highest security rating, “AAA Certified” by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). Contact us today on how we can help save your business from corporate 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.

Destroy Documents

Identity Theft Increasing

Why is it important to destroy documents? There are two main reasons: legality and identity theft.

In 2014, about 7% of U.S. residents (age 16 and over) were victims of identity theft. As troubling as this fact is, this was way back in 2014; the statistics for identity theft have only continued to rise every year.

Why Destroy Documents?

The purpose of this post is to give a brief overview for the general public, as well as for companies and small businesses, about why we should destroy documents.

In short – anybody, big or small, can be a victim of identity theft. And besides that, we all must follow the law.

Avoid Identity Theft

Take this advice to heart and you’ll greatly minimize risk of identity theft.

There are other forms of identity theft, but paper identity theft is still prevalent because too many people are careless.

Tearing your bank statement in half and tossing it in the trash just won’t cut it (pun not intended). Old fashioned dumpster diving identity theft is still prevalent, and an identity thief can easily piece together documents disposed of in this manner.

Stay On The Right Side Of The Law

There may be laws where you live or work that require you to destroy documents. Be sure to do a Google search to learn your state’s laws about how to dispose of professional documents.

Certain companies like banks and health care facilities are required by the government to shred their employees and clients documents. Other people and entities, both large and small, should follow the same procedure.

Here are 3 things you should keep in mind when you’re ready to destroy documents:

  1. Learn The Laws

One example of such a law related to healthcare is HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). If you deal with employees’ personal medical information, then you should know about HIPPA. It applies to any healthcare professional who comes in contact with others personal medical information.

  1. Come Up With A Plan

Legally you must protect your customers and employees data, and you should also have written confidential shredding plans for doing so.

  1. Consider Professional Paper Shredding

If you have a lot of documents to shred and want to be more careful, then choose a service to come to your office to shred and destroy documents.

After the documents are destroyed, they will be removed and then taken off site to be incinerated. This is the safest and most convenient method to destroy documents in large quantities.

Our Shredding Policy

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, was enacted on November 12, 1999 and is an act of the 106th U.S. Congress (1999–2001). This act was established to protect the personal financial information of consumers from neglectful financial institutions.

 

The act applies to the following financial institutions/companies:

 

  • Banks
  • Securities Firms
  • Insurance Companies
  • Mortgage Lenders/Brokers
  • Accountants/Tax Return Managers
  • Financial Advisors
  • Credit Counseling
  • Debt Collection

This rule also applies to companies, regardless of whether they are financial institutions, who receive such information. Companies must design, implement and maintain safeguards to protect their customer information.

One of the safeguards a company could implement would be putting a shredding policy in place. An established process for handling sensitive information can protect your company from risk of fraud or identity theft.

To make it more efficient, companies typically hire a professional shredding company to handle shredding of the mass of paper/documents they generate. With a shredding policy, a shredder service can eliminate any chance that your sensitive information falls into the wrong hands.

IntelliShred is an experienced professional shredding service in NJ with years in the business. We can provide you with a custom shredding policy solution that’s efficient and cost-effective! Contact us today!

Confidential Shredding

It’s not a surprise that fraud and identity theft has caused the loss of millions of dollars. In today’s global business environment, there is a good chance your business or organization is a target. With a solid confidential shredding process, you can save your business from facing that risk.

Not only does fraud impact your business financially, it also can cause your business to suffer from:

  • Negative brand image
  • Lack of trust from your customers
  • Loss of confidence from shareholders

It’s common for business owners spend an excessive amount of money on protecting their computer network, but they neglect to safeguard their hard-copy information. While shredding machines can be effective, the amount of time it takes to shred even a small volume of paper can eat up the productivity of your staff. Plus, most regular shredders are not able to handle shredding into unrecognizable strips.

With a confidential shredding service, a significant amount of your important files can be eliminated without the need for removing staples, paper clips, rubber bands, etc. The service will provide your business with a secure shred collection container and documents stay protected until they come to start the document destruction process.

Whatever volume of shredded material your business generates, an experienced document shredding company will set a schedule to collect and shred it onsite at your premises. Documents will be shredded in accordance with NAID AAA standards and a Certificate of Destruction will verify the process has been completed correctly.

IntelliShred has years of success with handling confidential shredding for a variety of businesses. We are able to provide you with efficient and product destruction services. Contact us today for answers to all of your shredding questions.

Confidential Document Destruction

As a business owner, when it comes to your New Jersey company, regardless if it’s a mega corporation or a small startup, protecting yours and your staff members’ confidential information is critical. Over the past few years, identity theft is being a growing issue in New Jersey and across the United States, and confidential document destruction is a sure way to prevent this.

In 2014, 17.6 million American residents fall victim to identity theft crimes and when government and corporate databases are lost or stolen, nearly 100 million more residents have their private, personal information put at risk of identity theft. In addition, 64.1% of reported identity theft is from the misuse of a credit card, 35% of an existing bank account and 14.2% of others personal, private information.

Here are a few ways your New Jersey business can lower the risk of identity theft from happening.

Confidential Document Destruction
When it comes to getting rid of your unneeded work documents and records, you may not realize that by putting the items in typical trash bins that you put you and your staff at risk of identity theft. A common way identity thieves access information is dumpster diving. That is when a person will dig through trash in search of confidential information that he or she can use for personal gains. To combat this, ensure that you have your documents and records properly shredded by hiring a professional shredding service in NJ. Our confidential document destruction team will ensure that all of your documents and records completely destroyed using our state-of-the-art equipment.

Strong Computer Passwords
Breaches into online accounts and computer systems are spreading fast. A key to small business fraud prevention is to ensure that your online accounts are hard to crack, make sure your passwords are complex. Use a combination of uppercase and lower case letters, numbers and computer symbols, such as $ # & *, and in addition, make sure your passwords are 8 characters long, at minimum.

Install Anti-Spyware Software
While using strong passwords is important, data hackers are still finding ways of breaking into your computer systems to take your information. Many hackers use spyware software to access your information on your computer. Use strong antivirus and antispyware software programs that will help protect your private data.

Regularly Review Your Bank Account and Credit Card Reports
For every statement with updates to your personal and business bank accounts and credit cards, take extra time to read over them over. Regardless how small the dollar amount could be on paper, if money was taken out of your account or charges or purchases on your credit card, contact your banking representatives right away. Review all information and reports on your statements each month and once you no longer need your reports, make sure you have them correctly destroyed, via professionally shredded.

For more information on our confidential document destruction services, contact us at 1 (866) 747-3360.