When it comes to the paper that you, your business, employer, or employees produce you are exposed.  Live by these TWO IRREFUTABLE RULES of DOCUMENT SECURITY and you will eliminate significant risk:

  1. Incidental Business Records Discarded On A Daily Basis Should Be Collected, Protected or Destroyed.
    Without a program to control it, the daily trash of every business contains information that could be harmful. This information is especially useful to competitors because it contains the details of current activities. Discarded daily records include phone messages, memos, misprinted forms, drafts of bids and drafts of correspondence.  All businesses suffer potential exposure due to the need to discard these incidental business records. The only means of minimizing this exposure is to make sure such information is securely collected and destroyed.  Use locking collection containers in convenient work areas to accomplish this.
  2. Recycling Is Not An Adequate Alternative For Information Destruction.
    To extract the scrap value from office paper, recycling companies use unscreened, minimum wage workers, to extensively sort the paper under unsecured conditions. The >acceptable< paper is stored for indefinite periods of time until there is enough of a particular type to sell. The sorted paper, still intact, is then baled and sold to the highest bidder, often overseas, where it may be stored again for weeks or even months until it is finally used to make new products.

There is no fiduciary responsibility inherent in the recycling scenario. Paper is given away or sold and, by doing so, a company gives up the right say in how it is handled. There is, also, no practical means of establishing the exact date that a record is destroyed. In the event of an audit or litigation, this could be a legal necessity. And, further, if something of a private nature does surface, the selection of this unsecured process could be interpreted as negligent. For all these reasons, the choice of recycling as a means of information destruction is undesirable from a risk management perspective.

If environmental responsibility is a concern, materials may be recycled after they are destroyed or a firm can contract a service that will destroy the materials under secure conditions before recycling them. Any recycling company that minimizes the need for security has its own interests in mind and should be avoided.

One comment

  1. Wow. I did not know the documents we dispose of are so insecure. Then we need to ensure we shred all paper before disposing of them.

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