How to Destroy Documents Safely in Your Office

By Stuart Jackson - 2017-01-20

No matter what type of business you are running, or how many employees you have, protecting your sensitive information from identity thieves makes sense. Even if you think the documents you are throwing in your recycling bin don’t contain any confidential information, they could still harm your business or your customers if they fell into the wrong hands.

Here is how you can protect yourself, your employees and your customers by implementing a new document destruction policy in your office.

1. Think about what is at risk

Think about the kind of paper documents your business is dealing with everyday. Sales receipts, patient records, client lists, policies, and financial information are all considered sensitive information that could hurt you business or your customers.

So your employees won’t lose time trying to decide whether or not a document is sensitive, your document destruction policy should declare that all documents that are no longer needed have to be securely destroyed. Old hard drives, flash drives, and CDs should also get disposed of properly.

2. Hire a document destruction company

Unless you have a very small office with less than 10 employees, using your own paper shredding machine to destroy your paper documents will take you a lot of time and will require regular maintenance.

Be sure to hire a reliable document destruction company, such as Shred-it Columbus that can meet your needs, and will ensure a secure destruction of your documents so you can comply with the different laws in your industry.

3. Talk to your employees

If you want your employees to follow your document destruction policy, you need to explain them what the policy is, and why it is important. Organize a reunion so you can communicate your ideas to everyone in the office.

Be ready to answer questions and to accept suggestions. It could be a good idea to prepare a document that will explain the new policy and to share it with your employees.

4. Use shredder bins

The document destruction company you hire will certainly provide you with shredder bins that can be locked, and that will be serviced as soon as they are full. Be sure to get enough of these bins for your office, and to clearly mark them so everyone will know if they are meant to receive paper documents or other types of items.

Your secure shredder bins should be easy to access for all of your employees, to make it even more simple for them to follow your new document destruction policy.

5. Prepare eye catching posters

Even if your shredder bins are clearly marked, you could prepare eye catching posters that will explain what should go in each bin, and remind everyone of the importance of the new policy.

Place those posters near each bin, as well as in common areas such as the kitchen or break room. No one in your office should be able to pretend that they had no idea there was a new document destruction policy. To learn how to create eye-catching posters, Canva has written a very detailed step-by-step guide.

6. Give the example

If your employees understand the importance of the policy and if it’s simple for them to put the sensitive documents they need to get rid of in secure bins, your document destruction policy should be easy to implement.

To make things even easier for everyone, make sure you give the example. If you are not taking your own policy seriously, you can’t expect anyone to comply to it. Everyone in your office have to do their part if you want to protect your personal and confidential information from unscrupulous identity thieves.

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