Identity theft has become an increasing concern around the world, both from digital and hard copy records. As a small business owner, you owe it to your employees, clients and partners to protect their information. While you may be taking steps to protect your servers from intruders, you shouldn't dismiss the importance of careful disposition of paper records. Most business documents that contain vital or personal information should be shredded when they are disposed of. Here are a few types of commercial records that you may not realize should be shredded.
Client Account Information
If you require signed contracts with your clients, those contract details can include some sensitive information. Once you've scanned the contracts into the digital storage archives, you can dispose of the paper copies. These paper contracts should be shredded when you dispose of them, because they include information about your company's operations and those of your clients. Don't jeopardize your client security by improperly disposing of contract files.
Just like your payroll records, personnel records also include sensitive information about each of your employees, such as their Social Security numbers, family details, address information and more. This is often enough information for an identity thief to open new accounts in the employee's name and successfully answer validation questions. To protect your employees from this kind of risk, you should always work with a document shredding service to destroy old personnel records.
At the end of every reporting cycle, most business owners review aging reports to help assess the current outstanding receivables and payable accounts. Although these records don't typically include any bank account information, they can provide some insight to potential thieves about the amount of cash your company has in the bank at any given time.
These reports also include information about your clients who have outstanding balances. This provides would-be thieves with the opportunity to intercept payments before they make it to your office. When you're ready to start disposing of aging reports, make sure they're shredded so that they cannot be used for information gathering.
Legal documents may not necessarily include any financial information, but they do typically include confidential information about company operations. If you want to ensure that your company's legal concerns don't supply any leverage for corporate blackmail or other potential issues, make sure all of your legal records are shredded when you're ready to dispose of them.
This includes far more than just court proceedings. It also means you need to shred the records from new product development, research, concept proposals and even your intellectual property applications. All of this information should be kept secure and destroyed before you dispose of it.
For more tips about proper document disposal, talk with one of your local shredding services today.