Published 3rd of September 2019

Hard-copy storage seems easy at first; you simply keep a file in a box on-site or off-site and when you need it again, you retrieve it from the box/filing cabinet. However, it’s very easy to make a mistake that can result in a loss of confidential data or a data breach. Here are the most common mistakes to avoid and help protect your confidential data.

Lack of organisation and not indexing your files

Most files your company collect over time will never be used, or accessed, once a certain period of time has passed. Properly indexing and organising your documents helps with the efficiency and speed of retrieving information. Adding expiration dates to each document helps you track them from start to finish and avoids you keeping hold of personal information you no longer require.

No retention schedules

A retention schedule helps you separate the documents you need and the documents that need to be disposed of. Separating them is an important step in determining whether a record is important or needs to be shredded. Ensure that your records retention schedule is consistent across all departments to avoid any backlogs. Train your staff to identify documents that need to be kept and ones that can be shredded.

Not shredding your documents

Documents containing sensitive confidential information should not be placed in an ordinary bin. Leaving confidential files lying around in an open bin makes the information accessible to everyone, increasing your chances of identity fraud and data breach. The most secure way to protect your files is to place them in a locked shredding console. Hiring a service provider to handle this for you, makes the process stress free and 100% guarantees your documents are being destroyed at the highest level of security. Placing all paper documents in a shredding console, whether they are confidential or not will ensure you are 100% recycling all paper waste- it’s not just about protecting your data but helping the environment too.

Storing your documents in a self-storage unit

Self-storage units might seem like a cost-effective solution to freeing up space in your office but in reality; they are less secure. A professional records management provider is always up to date with the latest industry guidelines and compliance laws. Many providers help you index and organise your documents too, making the retrieval of your documents easier then placing in your own self-storage location. Companies such as Shredall SDS Group, use state of the art secured document storage facilities with high security levels and a service that’s hassle-free.

Don’t forget about your audits

If you keep putting off the fact that you need to organise your files and implement a document management system, think of your next audit. An audit can become very stressful if you can’t access the documents which you need quickly and easily. Failing to preserve confidential records as per the regulations can result in time and money and damage to your brands reputation. Make sure your organisation is thorough when it comes to managing confidential and sensitive records.