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Your 2024 Guide To Confidential Document Disposal Methods


In today’s day and age, protecting sensitive information is becoming more and more important. With the rise of technology and our evolution into a digital landscape, protecting confidential information is more important than ever. Cyber attacks, as well as data leaks can be detrimental to businesses, and sensitive information cannot fall into the wrong hands. Our guide is here to help you understand the risks associated with sensitive information being leaked, as well as the secure methods businesses can use to protect their employees, clients and suppliers. To learn more about confidential waste disposal, keep on reading!


What Is Confidential Waste?


Before we dive into the ways in which businesses can protect their employees, clients and suppliers, it's crucial to understand exactly what confidential waste is. Confidential waste is essentially any information or documents (physical or digital) that contains private information. Confidential waste refers to any sensitive information that if disclosed or leaked, could lead to a harmful result. This type of waste needs to be disposed of in the most secure way possible to avoid it falling into the wrong hands.  Some key examples of confidential waste include:

 

●     Financial Records

●     Personal Phone Numbers & Addresses

●     Client Information

●     Business Plans & Strategies

●     Legal Documentation

●     Intellectual Property

●     Contracts & Agreements

●     Employee Records

●     Medical Records


Managing Confidential Waste: Why Is It Important?


Managing confidential waste is important for a range of reasons. As we move forward into a digital landscape, a new range of threats can emerge. Read below to learn more about why confidential waste management is so important.


Mitigating Risks


Sensitive data falling into the wrong hands can be severely harmful. From identity theft and financial theft to phishing attacks and other online attacks, sensitive data being leaked can be extremely harmful to businesses and their clients. To avoid these risks, disposing of confidential waste safely is an excellent way to mitigate these risks. Ensuring employees and managers are aware of the potential attacks that could occur, organisations can make a collective effort to mitigate these problems from occurring.


Maintaining Trust


When it comes to business and client relationships, as well as business to business relationships, maintaining trust is essential. Meeting client and business relationship expectations is crucial to ensure that your business stays afloat. Clients and businesses need to be able to rely on your organisation to protect their personal information, business strategies and other sensitive information.

 

Failure to do so can end in not only legal battles, but severe damage to your business reputation. This may damage the trust clients and other organisations have in your business, and may put off other potential clients from doing business with you.


Legal Obligations


There are legal obligations that businesses have with regards to confidential waste management. Businesses that fail to do this can be subject to legal consequences, as well as a bad reputation. The Data Protection Act (2018) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are legislations that must be adhered to. They outline laws and regulations specifically regarding protecting personal data and ensuring it is disposed of securely.


Staying On Top Of Your Confidential Waste


When it comes to confidential waste, proper management and secure protocols can help businesses to manage their confidential waste effectively.

 

●     Identification - The first way to manage confidential waste is to identify all materials that have sensitive information within the organisation. This includes physical documents as well as digital files. You should organise these materials so that you can figure out appropriate disposal methods.

●     Secure Storage - Establishing secure storage is essential for the security of these confidential documents. Filing cabinets, safes and secure digital servers are a good way to store sensitive data. Restricted access to these storage solutions should be implemented, so that this data is only handled by authorised personnel.

●     Regular Reviewing - Regular audits and review should be carried out on confidential files, so that businesses can dispose of confidential waste in a timely manner, without holding onto documentation for unnecessary periods. You can establish a system that details how long each type of document needs to be retained for, so that they can be disposed of securely, ensuring better security.

●     Employee Training - Increasing employee awareness and providing clear employee training can help to increase the levels of security with regards to sensitive information. By encouraging employees to be vigilant in data protection, document handling and secure storage. 

●     Disposal - Last, but certainly not least, secure disposal methods are the most effective way to ensure that the data is destroyed securely. From digital data to documentation, ensuring that the correct disposal method is used will ensure security for businesses, clients and suppliers.


Confidential Waste Disposal Methods


We’ve outlined the key confidential waste disposal methods, so that you can find the right solution for your business and client security. Read below to learn more.


Shredding


One of the most common methods for protecting businesses and clients through data destruction is by shredding sensitive documents. By shredding documents, they are cut into small pieces after being fed through the shredding machine, making them nearly impossible to piece back together. Cross cut and micro-cut shredders are a secure way for businesses to ensure that none of these documents are put back together and confidential details are then leaked. For maximum security, investing in a cross-cut or micro shredder can be better for security reasons.


Data Destruction


In the digital landscape, it's no secret that phishing attacks, cyber attacks and other types of digital harm are becoming more and more prevalent. As more of our data is stored on computers, servers, hard drives...etc, these attacks are becoming more of a serious risk to businesses. Files, business strategy, client portfolios and other sensitive information can be at risk, especially if these systems do not have the appropriate security measures in place.

 

When it comes to disposing of digital data, a process called degaussing is used to get rid of the digital confidential waste. This process involves a strong magnetic field, which is used to erase data from magnetic storage systems like hard drives and tapes. By wiping these machines in this way, rather than going in and deleting the files, there is more security. Files can still leave traces, be in 'recently deleted' folders or not be fully erased, which poses a threat. 


Confidential Waste Bins


Confidential waste bins are another way that businesses can secure their premises. By having confidential waste bins throughout a facility, they are designed to store confidential materials until they are ready to be disposed of properly. Regular emptying of these bins and proper management techniques will ensure that only authorised members of your organisation will be able to deal with these materials. By having confidential waste bins, businesses can ensure that all sensitive material is going into a specific bin that separates it, reducing any chance of sensitive information getting into regular bins and being leaked.


Waste Management Companies


Waste management companies can be extremely useful in collecting your sensitive information, as well as taking it to regulated disposal facilities. Once collected by a waste management company, your confidential shredding or paper waste will be destroyed at the waste facility. It's crucial for businesses to find reputable waste management services that specialise in secure disposal methods. A combination of shredding, data destruction and proper destruction facilities are essential for effectively protecting businesses, clients and suppliers.


Highlander Shredding Services: A Confidential Shredding Company You Can Rely On


Here at Highlander Security Shredding, we understand the importance of securely shredding your documents, which is why we offer secure business & domestic shredding across Scotland. Our confidential shredding company can help you dispose of waste quickly and safely. Our confidential document shredding service is designed to give you peace of mind that your data is being dealt with confidentiality.

 

To learn more about our pick up and drop off solutions, paper recycling, glass recycling or confidential document shredding, head to our website! Alternatively, you can contact us today to speak to our team for more information.

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