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June 29, 2017

Ways Confidential Papers in the Wrong Hands Can Hurt Business

Identify theft is not the only repercussion that can result when documents are found in the wrong hands. When the confidential papers of a business are exposed, whether intentional or not, there can be serious consequences.

Legal Ramifications

Because there are several pieces of legislature that dictate when and how confidential papers with sensitive information on them need to be destroyed, there can be serious legal consequences when this information is breached.

If confidential papers have not been properly shredded, acts such as HIPAA can cause the business to a penalty. And depending on the seriousness of the offense, these penalties can be costly. Healthcare facilities are not the only ones that can be affected by these acts, as some can apply to almost every person or business in the country, as dictated by FACTA.

Businesses can be sued over the leaked information, as such an act can be considered negligence, a breach of contract and many more. These types of cases are most often referred to as data breach lawsuits. Aside from individuals filing, these lawsuits can result in large class action cases, which can ultimately result in a large settlement, paid by the company.

Financial Consequences

Aside from possibly having to pay a penalty for not meeting certain paper shredding standards, companies can suffer other financial consequences as well. Identity theft can be one result of putting confidential papers in the wrong hands, as sensitive information can be stolen. Not only can the company’s information be stolen, but the information of anyone that is associated with their business can be stolen as well.

Once these confidential papers have been stolen, it is possible that identity thieves could steal money from any business or persons involved. If money has been taken from customers or partners, that money should be reimbursed by the responsible party.

Even if confidential papers have been stolen and accounts have not been affected by it, the company in question is still obligated to launch an investigation to ensure that their information is remains confidential. These investigations can be expensive, depending on how extensive they are. In addition, it could result in clients losing confidence in your business.

Lost Information

Losing important information to the wrong hands can hurt a business, especially if that business primarily deals with healthcare or legal documents. For health practices, if the information of patients has been leaked or put into the wrong hands, the business could face both ethical and legal consequences.

Businesses dealing with legal documents, like law firms, have to protect confidential papers not only for legal or ethical reasons, but also to keep their work private. In the even that a law firm’s documents were put into the wrong hands, information such as evidence, testimonies and a possible defense plan could be leaked, thus ruining their opportunities at trial.

All of these tragedies can be avoided by employing the services of a mobile shredding company, such as PROSHRED® Raleigh. If you are interested in learning how a professional shredding company can help your business, please visit our website.


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