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A Secure Shredding Program is Only as Good as its Policies and Procedures

At this point in time, most organizations already take steps to securely destroy their discarded personal and competitive information. Some shred their discarded paper and hard drives themselves, while others hire it out. Some treat secure destruction as an afterthought, while a growing number give it a high priority. But the fact remains that, despite differing approaches, the vast majority of organizations now know that it is unsafe and unacceptable to casually discard confidential information.

That’s a great start, for sure, but it’s only half of the job. Both from a practical and regulatory perspective, too many organizations still don’t realize that their secure shredding program isn’t complete without also creating written policies and procedures.

If something that should have been destroyed is later found in a dumpster or blowing down the street, or if something is shredded that should not have been, the first thing regulators (or lawyers) are going to ask is whether the employees have been trained on proper disposal procedures. Of course, the company owner knows that the right answer is yes. She knows that if the employees weren’t professionally trained, the company will be held responsible, maybe even negligent. But how can she claim that employees were trained when there are no written policies and procedures to properly instruct them or hold them accountable? Of course, this is why every data protection regulation on the books requires organizations to have them.

It is ironic, but the most unfortunate thing about not having secure destruction policies and procedures is that the heavy lifting has already been done. The secure shredding process itself is up and running. Drafting the policies and procedures is the simple part. It is just documenting what is already taking place.

To be sure, that first draft is only a starting point. Invariably, as internal stakeholders review it, there will be additions and changes.

That’s where Shred Vault can help.

For Shred Vault clients, it’s easy. We already know the ins and outs of the current secure destruction program. We also know what we don’t know, meaning that we can identify the information only the client can provide and choices only the client can make. There is no doubt that some thought and a few discussions will take place among stakeholders, but at the end of the short process, the company is better protected, has what it needs to train its employees, and is compliant with data protection regulations.

To organizations that are not yet Shred Vault clients, we still love to hear from you. At the end of day, we’re here to serve. At a minimum we can provide guidance on next steps and available resources.

Don’t wait. Contact Shred Vault today for all your secure destruction needs, including how to create your required secure destruction policies and procedures quickly and painlessly.


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