This has been QUITE some year, has it not? Regardless of how COVID affected your business, you still accumulated A LOT of stuff! Pounds of paperwork got added to your files and countless devices broke down and needed to be replaced. While you were busy trying to navigate all of the COVID hurdles, there’s a good chance that a lot of non-emergency tasks, like collecting old documents and devices for shredding, got shuttled to the back burner. But taking pains to protect your sensitive data isn’t just a smart New Year’s resolution; it’s a necessity if you want to continue to grow your business and protect its future. Before the new year - and new challenges - get underway, here are some solid steps you should take now:
Formalize a Strategy
The end of the calendar year tends to be hectic. Don't count on a general email to the staff requesting they collect anything that needs shredding before the end of the year. Instead, email a mandatory (and dated) clean-out schedule for the company. Clearly state that it is essential that all sensitive data is properly destroyed and nothing is overlooked.
The BIG Cleanout
During the year, your employees might only toss documents in the to-be-shredded bin when they have a reason to handle those documents. Now is the time for the entire staff to sort through ALL of their files to clear out everything that is no longer necessary.
Verify Retention Dates
The end of the year is also a good time to verify that you’re complying with any industry regulations, company requirements or state laws around document retention. Are you keeping documents related to compliance for the proper length of time? Do you know how long financial statements should be kept? If you’re one branch of a larger firm, are you following company guidelines for document retention? What does your accountant say about how long to hold onto financial documents? Complying with any applicable laws is important for liability reasons, but brushing up on current requirements also gives you the freedom to dispose of unnecessary documents without fear that you’ll suffer any consequences for having done so.
Look Beyond Paper
Don't forget other items like old employee ID badges, hard drives, broken electronics and old thumb drives - all which can contain sensitive data (including financial information). These items all need to be shredded rather than landfilled. They’re the kinds of things that employees tend to stash in the backs of drawers or in storage closets and forget about. Because they’re considered obsolete, those items tend not to be protected with security measures the way functional devices and badges are.
Evaluate Your Shredding and Recycling Systems
Take the time to review how the systems you have in place are working. Were the recycling bins always overflowing? Is everyone on your staff aware of how to dispose of sensitive files? Did your output of paper waste increase? Did you have any security breaches in 2020? If there are weaknesses in your systems, make adjustments NOW.
Information is your most valuable resource, but when not properly safeguarded, it exposes you to corporate espionage, identity theft, and other criminal activity. Even if no confidential information has escaped yet, you face a public relations fiasco and stiff legal penalities if you are not taking the proper preventative measures. WRIGLEY'S endeavors to ensure your company's information security with reliable and secured document destruction. You can bring it to us or we can come to you.
WRIGLEY'S offers on-site shredding, off-site plant based shredding, on time purges, on-going service, scheduled contract shredding, electronic destruction/recycling, and destruction of office consoles. Bonded and Insured.
Please contact us with any questions you may have on our shredding services. We are here to help!