Businesses today collect and maintain a lot of sensitive information. Although paperless recordkeeping has begun to replace paper records, many businesses in Washington, D.C. may still store paperwork in their office. Not sure why your Washington D.C. business should get rid of unnecessary, out of date, or irrelevant paper files? Here are 5 reasons:
Keep customer information safe and secure
Businesses have a responsibility to protect their customer information by shredding any paper documents that they no longer need. A hotel in Rockville, for example, should destroy any credit card information that is kept on file for its visitors. A financial planner in Gaithersburg should properly dispose of sensitive financial information from old clients. Facilities like schools should also keep personal information about staff and students secure. This may include Social Security numbers, tax information, or financial aid information. Imagine what would happen if the over 40,000 students who went to University of Maryland had their personal information released by accident due to poor recordkeeping.
Protect employee information
Don’t forget about safeguarding sensitive employee information, too. Think about voided checks, out of date pay stubs, health records, Social Security information, and photo IDs. Secure document shredding protects your employees’ privacy and identity. Just like your customers, your employees are trusting you to keep their information safe.
Prevent identity theft
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reported a 44% increase in the number of data breaches for 2017. About 1,600 data breaches exposed nearly 179 million records. That number included a little over 14 million credit card numbers. Unfortunately, credit card fraud is the most common type of identity theft, followed by tax-related or employment fraud, phone or utilities fraud, and bank fraud.
As a business, you must take steps to protect the information you handle every day, whether that’s information about your customers, staff, or business partners. If you don’t protect that sensitive data, the risk of being involved in a data breach runs higher. It’s best to be proactive and decrease that risk by securely shredding your documents. Not only are shredded documents harder to reconstruct, but a professional shredding service can ensure that other people don’t see or come in contact with those documents.
Comply with the law
Businesses have a legal obligation to protect client and employee privacy by destroying confidential information. By using secure document shredding services, you comply with laws such as FACTA, HIPAA, HITECH, AND GLBA.
- The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA): This act requires proper destruction of discarded consumer information, helping to reduce the risk of identity theft.
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA): This act requires that healthcare industry professionals properly transmit, share, or discard health information responsibly.
- The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH): Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 1009, this act widens the scope of privacy and security under HIPAA.
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA): Also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999, this U.S. federal law requires financial institutions to explain how they protect and share customer information.
Free up room in the office
When your business gets rid of papers that are no longer needed, you’ll be able to free up a lot of space in storage, filing cabinets, shelves, and desks. If you work in a confidentiality-heavy sector, as many do in Washington, D.C., it makes it a lot easier to keep that “clean desk” policy, too. Having too many stacks of paper lying around the office can also turn into a fire hazard if left unchecked. Instead of waiting until your filing cabinets are bursting at the seams, you can use a shredding service to remove old documents when they’re out of date and not needed any longer.
Find a professional shredding service near you
If you’re searching for secure document shredding in Washington D.C., contact PROSHRED®️ Washington D.C. Our local operators service areas including Greenbelt/College Park, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Largo, and many more. Learn more about our services and service areas by contacting us online, or you can call 301-652-0005. If you’ve got paper to shred, we’re here to help.