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Shredding for Security and Protecting Your Information

No matter what type of business you own, you will have financial documents, customer files, and employee records on hand. While much of file organization has gone digital for the purpose of added security and convenience, there is still plenty of paper documentation circulating in the business world.

This is why it is crucial to shred unwanted and expired documents, whether that’s in an office shredder or through a professional shredding company. Online and app cybersecurity features can protect your digital information, but that’s not the case for hard copies, which can pose a lot of risks if not taken care of properly. Here are the top reasons you need to shred your documents to help protect your information and your business.

1. Identity Theft and Data Breaches

You may be familiar with some of the common data attacks and cybersecurity threats that are committed via web browser, email, or even text message. But fraudsters are always on the hunt for ways to steal and use sensitive and confidential data, which includes trash. If it sounds a lot like dumpster diving, that’s essentially what it is. People will dig through recycling and trash bins to attempt to find personal information like bank statements, payroll records, health and medical records, and so on.

Sensitive information like this not only puts the individual whose record it is at jeopardy, but also your business. If someone’s information gets into the wrong hands, whether it’s a customer, vendor, employee, etc., you are liable and may even be sued. The easiest way to avoid that risk is to always shred confidential documents.

2. Privacy Protection

As a business owner, you are responsible for keeping your customers’ and employees’ information private and secure. If you fail to do so and someone is personally affected, you are not only accountable for the repercussions that follow, but it will also damage your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy business and could result in the downfall of your company.

It’s also important to be transparent with your employees and customers by letting them know that you always properly shred sensitive documents and ensure them that their information is not at risk.

3. Environmental Sustainability

With the rise in importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices among businesses and consumers, proper shedding of documents is one great way to live up to that promise. Taking your shredded paperwork to the right facility or relying on a reputable shredding company to do it for you will ensure your shredded waste is destroyed, baled, and recycled into new paper products. This is not only a commitment to security, but a commitment to environmental responsibility – a win-win!

4. Following Compliance Laws

Not only does shredding documents help protect individual and business information, but it also ensures you are abiding by necessary compliance regulations. Certain laws require businesses to destroy both personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) that has expired. This includes but is not limited to:

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA)
  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

5. Clutter Reduction and Fire Prevention

The greater a buildup of paper documents you have sitting in an office, the more inefficient the space becomes for you and your employees, which can lead to low morale and dissatisfaction in the workplace. It also puts you at greater risk of fire potential, which obviously not only puts the safety of those who occupy the space at risk, but also your business’ financial health. Properly getting rid of expired and unwanted documents helps keep your people safe and your assets protected.

Seeking advice on how to best shred your confidential and sensitive documents can help you protect your business, your employees, and your customers from potential crises. If you want to speak to a professional, give us a call at Republic Bank at 800-526-9127 to get in touch with our expert representatives. Plus, check out our resource library for more financial tips.

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