Document Destruction Ethics: 4 Precautions You Must Take While Shredding Your Business Documents

Any information, once printed on a paper or coded in a digital bit, can be leveraged or exploited. The difference lies in the intentions of the possessor of that information. Information can be trivial, or it can be significant. It is the context that decides the ‘significance’ of a piece of information. And, in the digital age, context changes rapidly. What, for you, today is a disposable sales receipt might be a critical piece of evidence for the Auditing authority tomorrow.

No matter what and how many records an enterprise handles, diligence is required at every step. A critical operation of such intensity, like Records Management, cannot be effective unless ethics, process and diligence are enforced. When it comes to Secure Document Shredding, ethics play a crucial role.

Why an enterprise must follow Document destruction ethics and take precautions to maintain Records Management Supremacy?

Let us understand.

The ‘What’ and ‘Why’ of Ethics of Document Destruction?

Like in any human-information interaction system, security is of prime concern. Any information must ideally lie between the stakeholders and originators of that information. Any breach within this wall of fire of records can result in irreversible damages or plain ruckus. Data breaches, identity thefts, espionage, fraud, and sabotage are just some examples. Ethics, however, on the part of stakeholders can mitigate these risks while preserving the interests of everyone within the wall of fire.

Here are some of the ethical considerations related to document destruction;

  • Trust- Businesses thrive only because of the trust of its stakeholders. Document destruction must be stopped/carried out to protect trust and confidentiality.
  • Legal Ramifications- It is crucial to have a ‘Retention’ and ‘Shredding’ policy for records to escape any legal ramifications arising in the future.
  • Privacy- Stakeholders invest their trust in the enterprise when they share their personal information or data. The right ethical practice calls businesses to keep their privacy intact.

Following these ethics is not hard. In fact, with the below mentioned precautionary steps, Records Management related ethics can easily become a part of your work culture.

Determine the Purpose

Before you call a Professional Secure Document Shredding Service, determine the purpose of the documents under purview. If they are confidential and non-essential, they can be shredded. If they are non-confidential and non-essential, they can be discarded right away. Similarly, confidential and essential documents must be retained as long as they are required for a business or legal case.

Stick to the Legal Compliance Codes

Every business has to follow legal compliance norms owing to Records Management. Retention and shredding of different records must be guided by the laws set by the government & auditing authorities. This means that you’ll need a Document Retention Policy as well as a Document Shredding Policy for your compliance to be flawless.

Records Related to Identity

These are to be handled with utmost care. Identity Records are most vulnerable to being misused. If leaked into the wrong hands, it can be misused in numerous ways, ranging from- forged documentation, financial fraud, criminal activities, etc. Also, one must remember that any identity record legally belongs to the originator of the document. Thus, if you possess tons of candidate resumes, government ID copies of individuals, or transactional information, you must adhere to the internal policy guidelines and local laws.

Diligent Shredding

Nothing can be worse than your company following all the best practices of Records Management, and then shredding them at last without diligence. The whole purpose of Records Management crashes there. It is highly recommended that you stick with Secure Document Shredding that takes human errors and careless discarding of information out of the picture. It is advised that you hire a professional vendor for the same to be sure of a flawless job, while saving time and cost!

As the daily influx of records grows into a mammoth, Records Management has become a crucial to seamless information & security workflow.  Following the best practices of Records Management can give a company an edge in the long-run. Stay tuned for more professional insights into Records Management.

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Anuj RawatDocument Destruction Ethics: 4 Precautions You Must Take While Shredding Your Business Documents