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What Makes an Effective Document Shredding Policy?

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Document Types

Identifying the types of documents your company produces will help in developing an effective document shredding policy. Some documents are governed by different laws, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Documents can also fall under these categories:

  • Temporary and permanent
  • Historical and current
  • Client, customer, or vendor information
  • Employee information
  • Financial information
  • Intellectual property
  • Emails and other communication
  • Legal documents

Document Retention

A retention schedule strikes the perfect balance between a document’s lifecycle and its usefulness to the company. Following a retention schedule will decrease your risk of legal liability for destroying documents too early or too late and decrease the risk of data breach for leaving them in storage too long. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) sets the minimum retention time a document can be kept prior to shredding.

Having the right person create the records retention part of your document shredding policy is vital. The retention schedule should include maintenance, archiving, and destruction policies according to state and federal retention rules. Implementation will require someone that can guide and motivate the staff to follow the required rules at all times.

Document Destruction

How your documents will be destroyed is your choice, but it must be done legally and securely. Shredding is considered a safe form of document destruction if it is handled professionally. Outsourcing your shredding service is efficient because a reputable shredding and destruction provider will have the best technology and most compliant process. The journey of a document must be tracked, and the destruction should be acknowledged with a Certificate of Destruction.

Policy Review

A document destruction policy isn’t static. It stays alive and well by being reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis. Establish regular review dates and choose a team that will be able to dedicate enough time to evaluate it carefully. A good policy evaluation includes employee feedback as well as client input.

Wiggins Shredding serves the Pennsylvania and the Tri-State area of Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. We are knowledgeable and compliant with FACTA, HIPAA, GLB, EEA, SOX, and Pennsylvania state legislation. For help with document shredding, just give us a call at 610-692-TEAR(8327) or complete the form on this page.

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