Storing sensitive documents yourself might seem like a cost-effective and smart thing to do. You won’t need to pay a professional storage service and you’ll always be sure that you know where your documents are. However, document self-storage is not as safe as you might think.
The truth is that sometimes, business owners overlook document self-storage dangers. They assume that they’re doing the right thing when in fact they’re leaving themselves open to a host of risks. With that in mind, here are 5 overlooked dangers you should know about.
#1: Documents May Be Accessed by Unauthorized or Disgruntled Employees
Perhaps the biggest danger associated with document self-storage is that your documents may be accessible to people who aren’t authorized to handle them. For example, if you keep documents in a filing cabinet, someone who comes in might be able to pick the lock or take the whole filing cabinet.
A related danger is that a disgruntled employee might decide to take or copy documents to hurt you. No business owner wants to think that an employee would be dishonest, but it happens – and even if you keep your documents off-site in a self-storage facility, they might be at risk.
#2: Documents May Not Be Stored in Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Public and private businesses must adhere to legal requirements for document retention and destruction. When you store documents yourself, you might miss important deadlines or make mistakes when it comes to storing or destroying your documents.
By contrast, using a document storage company can help you stay in compliance with FACTA, HIPAA, and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. You won’t need to keep track of your document cycles because at Gilmore Services, we do it for you.
#3: Documents May be Damaged if Stored Improperly
Even if you do a good job of maintaining and destroying your documents according to the law, you still may run the risk of your valuable records being damaged or destroyed if you store them yourself. For example, stacking documents can damage them and may get you in trouble if they aren’t legible.
A related risk has to do with disaster recovery. What would happen to your sensitive business documents if your building burned down, flooded, or was otherwise damaged in a natural disaster? You would be responsible for the damage and your business could end up in trouble as a result.
#4: Document Retrieval Can Be a Challenge
Being able to retrieve the documents you store is essential if your company is being audited or you need to produce documents for a court case or dispute mediation. Even if you think you have an efficient filing system, you might have difficulty finding the documents you need when you need them.
Human error always plays a role in document storage. If something is mis-filed or not catalogued properly, you might not be able to produce it. Working with an experienced document storage company will eliminate that possibility and ensure that you can find your documents when you need them.
#5: Document Self-Storage Can Cost You Money
You might think that paying a document storage company is an unnecessary expense. However, it’s easy to overlook the real costs of self-storage. These include:
- Renting space to store documents – you’ll need more office space if you store items on-site
- Employee time and salaries – you’ll pay employees to catalog, file, and maintain documents
- Potential loss of revenue if your documents are compromised
The last item on that list has the potential to be devastating to any business. Many companies that lose customer data can’t recover from the loss of trust and revenue that ensues.
Document self-storage can seem like a way to save money while still complying with legal regulations and maintaining client confidentiality. However, these five overlooked dangers are significant and make it worthwhile to partner with an experienced document storage and shredding company.