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Out with the Old: It’s Time to Destroy Unneeded Records

The New Year is traditionally recognized as a season of hope and optimism. It represents a clean slate and a new beginning. It’s out with the old, in with the new.

And, in that same vein, from a regulatory and legal perspective, it is also the best time of the year to dispose of accumulated business records. Not just because another year’s worth of documents can be lawfully destroyed, but because keeping all those records around longer than necessary wastes space, raises data protection liabilities, and can lead to a number of other problems, including the risk of unnecessary legal discovery expense.

It also violates a host of new state privacy laws that prohibit the retention of personal information beyond what is necessary.

Starting a Good Habit

Perhaps the most common theme associated with the New Year is the opportunity to break bad habits, and, in that regard, there is no more prevalent organizational bad habit worth breaking than letting years of needless records pile up.

And, when destroying those records, doing it at this time of year minimizes the risk that the destruction appears suspicious.

When records are destroyed out of the blue, with seemingly no rhyme or reason, it is easy to assume or make it appear that shredding them is intended to hide something, especially when it has not been done for years. There are hundreds if not thousands of lawsuits where the sudden destruction of old records has been portrayed as evidence of wrongdoing. Auditors, regulators, and opposing counsel may assume those records were intentionally destroyed to get rid of evidence of a problem. And, as often as not, the courts see it that way too.

On the other hand, when records are securely shredded at the beginning of the year, even if they have been accumulating for decades, the destruction just looks like good housekeeping. The attitude of authorities seems to be, “Sure the old records were destroyed; it was the beginning of the year,” and it makes sense to anyone tempted to question it.

That is why, no matter how many years the old records have accumulated, there’s simply no better time of year to make sure they are given the proper send-off.

Thankfully, Shred Vault makes it easy. We have helped hundreds of organizations in meeting their annual records disposal requirements. Whether it’s an entire warehouse or just a handful of boxes, whether they are stored in a basement or in the attic, we have the people, the know-how, and the state-of-the-art equipment needed to destroy them securely, sustainably, and at a price you can afford.

Contact Shred Vault today! Learn how conveniently and cost-effectively your firm’s annual records destruction needs can be met.


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