The importance of proper shredding

The importance of proper shredding

When making the switch to document management software, there's a lot of important work that needs to be done before a new system can be considered successfully implemented. Offices must take the plunge and responsibly dispose of their old horrific machines like the copier, clunky printers and disorganized file cabinets, and must sort through old documents and get rid of unnecessary paper to ensure electronic workflow moving forward. Once this data is successfully preserved within the new infrastructure, it's critical that companies responsibly shred old financial and otherwise confidential documents in an efficient manner to avoid theft or misplacing. Here are some simple tips on how to make your transition to paperless airtight without risking a compromise of your data.

Recycling won't do it
For those who think financial documents are just as easily recycled intact as they are shredded, think again. Although the act of recycling feels like a permanent disposal, CSO writer Sarah D. Scalet reminded readers that one man's trash is another man's gateway to identity theft.

"Remember that trash is not inherently private. In 1998, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans do not have a right to privacy when it comes to their trash," Scalet noted. "What's more, the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which made it a federal offense to steal trade information, does not protect companies that fail to take reasonable steps to protect their information."

Paperless document management is a far more secure system to manage financial documents and other data, and can event offer a one-step invoice automation process to make the process simpler for customers and organizations alike. Too often, a business will be excited about a new, more useful system and neglect making the full transition, leaving old paper documents highly vulnerable to compromise.

Be diligent about scanning and shredding processes
It's not uncommon for employees to fall into old patterns of holding onto paper instead of scanning it into document management software, which makes things more complicated for those who seek access to the data and becomes a security risk for the company. To avoid this unneeded stressor, project managers and other figures of authority should regularly reinforce the daily or weekly scanning of all acquired documents into the infrastructure, which can be accomplished painlessly with a number of inexpensive smartphone applications.

What's more, neglecting to shred sensitive information could end up informing a competitor of business decisions if employees aren't careful. A blog post by industry leader Shred Source reminded businesses of all sizes of the risk taken when this data is left to chance.

"Shred documents that could help the competition," the article stated. "Shred customer lists, sensitive pricing information, strategic planning documents, and especially trade secrets should never just be sent to the trash without shredding first."

When it comes to the disposal of items that have been moved to a new infrastructure, it's better to be safe than sorry. Kick the paper out of the office along with the old file cabinets to enjoy the benefits of electronic document imaging and a newfound sense of security.