Businesses produce high volumes of documentation every day, a significant proportion of which can contain personal and sensitive information on clients, employees, or the business itself. Handling this information professionally and securely is not only important for the business, but also to comply with the law. The United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act, which is in line with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, sets out new stricter regulations for handling personal data that carry more serious criminal offences. Access and the handling of data must be controlled and monitored. Here we list how and why businesses should be wary of how they store their confidential waste.
Collecting confidential waste
It should be part of the business policy that all employees are taught in the practice of handling sensitive information and passing such information to their appropriate secure locations. This teaching should be refreshed after certain intervals, so minds can be refreshed, and new practices can be introduced across the company. Distinct authority should be given to those responsible for the overseeing of the collection and storage of confidential waste. Therefore, there can be no ambiguity surrounding any breaches of sensitive information and whether those responsible should be held accountable.
Online confidential waste
The modern era sees vast amounts of personal information and data being held online, on servers or even on USB sticks. All online information should be encrypted and password protected so that it cannot be accessed by anyone. It is also good practice that the physical entities that hold the online information are kept locked as well so that those unable to access online do not succeed in other methods.
Hard copy confidential waste
Shredding immediately is the best way of dealing with sensitive excess documentation. This should include business information such as minutes so that corporate espionage can be avoided. Shredding can also help to save time and space whilst making paper easier to recycle and getting rid of the fire hazard of large amounts of paper storage. Professional paper shredding services are essential for any business. If your business stores the paper before being shredded, secure containers need to be employed so that the information cannot be accessed by unauthorised personnel. The containers should also be clearly distinguishable, so that no sensitive information is lost or misplaced.
No business wants to fall foul of the law and cause serious disruption to the runnings of the business and the lives of the employees. On the same note, businesses also wish to avoid losing reputation through breaches of customer privacy and the mishandling of sensitive information. This article shows the importance of setting out clear procedure and authority in regard to storing confidential waste. When implemented correctly, a business can run professionally and effectively – safeguarding itself and its clients.