How to Take Control of Your Document Storage and Destruction Plan
Wed, Jan 06, 2016
By: Jacob Gilmore
Depending on the industry, the possibility of litigation can be a major threat in the back of a business owner's mind, and it’s not always possible to completely avoid difficult legal situations.
There is, however, a lot that can be done to protect your business and make sure a legal claim against your company won’t be due to your negligence. When it comes to safeguarding information, a qualified records management company can protect businesses by carrying various forms of insurance, setting strict guidelines for employees, and maintaining adequate records.
But is your current document storage and destruction plan at the same high level of security and preparedness as a professional solution? With identity theft and other privacy issues making headlines all the time, there’s no reason to think that your business records management measures require any less attention.
If you’re heading into the new year with anything less than absolute confidence about your document management plan, we recommend reviewing the following points to take control of your sensitive information.
Do you even have a plan?
Some businesses don’t, leaving them at risk of a long list of potential threats. If you maintain any business records, you should have a formal plan in place for how those documents or digital records are securely stored, readily accessed, and eventually destroyed (if applicable) so that nothing falls through the cracks and ends up exposing the company to a valid lawsuit.
Does your plan cover both physical and digital records?
Many businesses today generate both physical (paper or hard copy) records and virtual (digital) records. While many have already established formal plans for storage and destruction of their paper records, the digital portion can often be neglected. When you consider how much more common it is for a hacker to access your digital records than it is for someone to break in and steal your physical records, it's clear that your plan must account for security on both fronts.
Why are storage and destruction plans both vital?
In many cases, business records have regulations attached to them that dictate how long they need to be kept on file. During the time they are stored, they need to be secure and safe, whether physical or digital. Once that required time frame has passed, however, their continued existence is, in itself, an unnecessary security risk. So, appropriate document destruction, including both paper shredding and hard drive shredding or other media destruction, needs to be a part of the lifecycle of every record your company generates.
Are you familiar with all the laws regulating your company’s records management?
Laws change and businesses must stay on top of evolving requirements in order to remain safe from legal disruptions. In the case of records management, there are a number of laws in place, some of which effect all businesses, others of which are specific to various industries. This helpful infographic should point you in the right direction if you’re not positive where your company stands with document retention and destruction guidelines.
Have you found any gaps in your current records management plan?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Records management is a complex and vital part of running a successful business, and most companies need help handling it properly. To learn more, download the guide below for some more details about how to protect your company and we welcome you to contact us with any questions.