Documents are essential to running a business. Any successful operation requires record keeping to ensure accountability and accuracy among all parties involved.
Some of these documents could contain public knowledge. Still, others often have sensitive information about trade secrets, employee information, or customer details that would be highly irresponsible to leak to the public.
Documents containing sensitive or confidential information must be stored securely or destroyed when necessary.
Why Destroy Sensitive Documents?
Document destruction is necessary for data protection and privacy across various organizations, in the private and public sectors.
Identity theft is a significant issue, making Toronto shredding services and other document destruction methods an essential part of protecting internal business information and customer data.
Last year, Toronto police charged four individuals involved in identity theft and fraud operations worth millions of dollars.
Governments all over the world, including Canada, have privacy laws that ensure the protection of citizens’ personal data, especially from attacks by malicious parties.
Canada currently has two privacy laws that help protect citizens’ data in public and private sectors—the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
PIPEDA covers private sector groups that collect, use, or disclose personal information including businesses during commercial activities or transactions.
One of PIPEDA’s Fair Information Principles includes limiting the use, disclosure, and retention of sensitive data. Businesses should keep confidential information safely stored. And when these documents are no longer relevant, they should be disposed of appropriately.
3 Ways To Destroy Sensitive Paper Documents
When destroying sensitive information, the main goal is to render the information within them unreadable. This helps protect people’s personal data, which could make them vulnerable to identity theft and other attacks if intercepted.
Below are common ways to destroy sensitive paper documents to protect your business, employees, and customers.
Shredding is probably the most popular method of destroying paper documents. It involves using a paper shredder machine to cut each sheet of paper into thin strips that you could then recycle or throw away.
You could either purchase an office shredder that you could use in-house or hire the services of a professional shredding company. The former could seem initially cheaper but would also require additional effort and resources from your team.
Working with a professional data destruction service could help you focus on more urgent tasks, and rest assured that your sensitive documents are disposed of appropriately.
Another way to destroy sensitive documents is through pulping. As the name suggests, this process uses liquids to turn the paper into a pulp.
There are several ways one could do this method. You could simply submerge the documents in water for long enough that they disintegrate or add certain chemicals like bleach. Using an immersion blender could also speed up the process.
Pulping is a pretty inexpensive way to destroy sensitive documents. However, this method could be inefficient if your business needs to eradicate a large volume of documents, as it requires space and quite a bit of time.
Burning is another method you can use to get rid of paper documents. When done correctly, this method reduces your documents into ash, ensuring that no information can be gleaned from them.
Despite its effectiveness, this method is also the most dangerous and isn’t advisable for dealing with large volumes of documents. You will need a suitable space, such as an outdoor fire pit, to ensure that you avoid any accidents.
Whichever method you choose for destroying sensitive documents, make sure that you prioritize a safe and efficient process for everyone involved and develop a system you could sustain in your business practice for years to come.