Of course, your company has everyday operational duties. You maintain a dedication to sustainability. This includes diligent procedures from eco-friendly lighting to recycling used paper.
In fact, your office prides itself on an active document shredding regime. This ensures confidential or sensitive information does not fall into the wrong hands.
Today, identity theft is a major concern. There are constant software upgrades, rock-solid firewalls, and encryption. Yet, a high percentage of theft still occurs through physical paper means.
Perhaps, you’re doing the right thing by sticking to an active document destruction program. However, are you aware of document shredding laws? If so, is your company remaining in compliance?
Federal and State Paper Shredding Laws
Long ago, businesses learned that it is risky to toss random documents into a garbage can. Many documents include private information on internal programs, employee, or client data.
Methods for retaining and disposing of documents depends on the content within. However, federal and state laws exist. They oversee how and when documents are destroyed. Truthfully, non-compliance may result in financial penalties or fines.
The most widely known federal paper shredding law is the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPPA). It requires healthcare providers to shred documents containing protected information. Failure to do so can lead to civil or criminal repercussions.
In the financial realm, there is the Gramm-Leach-Bliely Act (GLBA). It outlines mandatory compliance regulations for financial institutions. They must maintain a policy protecting information from potential security threats.
Each US state has its own regulations regarding consumer information privacy. This includes Florida’s document shredding act. It contains requirements that apply to all businesses that store or use a customer’s personal information.
It states that they must include processes protecting that information. Businesses in some states will incur hefty fines. These are imposed if the company fails to properly destroy and dispose of private records.
Additionally, other regions have dedicated retention periods for paper records. At that time, those records must be shredded or burned. This includes electronic media.
What and How to Shred
Paper shredding options generally fall into three categories: mobile document shredding, document pick-up, and document drop-off.
Your particular scenario dictates which choice works best. Here are some examples of documents that should be shredded:
- Receipts That Include Credit Card Information
- Travel Documents Indicating Names and Destinations
- Pay Stubs
- Health Insurance Records Including Prescription Labels and Claims
- Any Form of Credit Application
Keep something in mind. There’s a relatively minor effort involved in document shredding. Yet, it can alleviate a host of long-term issues.