How to Create a Document Retention and Destruction Policy

4 Steps to Create a Document Destruction Policy With Shred Nations

All companies face the dangers of leaking sensitive information. Customer information, employee information, and confidential business-related information all require care and attention, especially when disposing of them.

Federal laws like FACTA are in place to hold businesses responsible for the safety of the private information they handle. With more data breach cases making headlines each year, a tarnished reputation can result in the loss of millions. Therefore, creating a document retention and destruction policy is one of the best ways to combat the risk associated with a potential data breach.

Creating a Document Retention and Destruction Policy

A successful document retention and disposal policy requires forethought, organization, and consistent monitoring.  Shredding is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of private information held on physical files. Three key steps will greatly influence the cost and design of your policy.

Step 1: Categorize Documents Based on Retention

Shred Nations can help you with your document retention and destruction policy

Compose a list of document categories that includes their retention period. As a result, you know when to destroy the type of document when their retention time is up. Keeping a good document retention schedule can protect you in litigation and keep you in compliance with federal and state laws.

Step 2: Decide Who Will Perform the Shredding

Once a document’s retention period is over, you need to decide how to destroy it. You can shred either in-house by employees or via a professional shredding service provider.

In-House Shredding

Shredding done in-house can be structured in several ways. Employees can shred files the minute they decide to trash them, or collect documents over time and perform the shredding at the end of every week.

Having internal employees shred their files may work for a small or mainly digital workplace, but once the amount of paper that needs to be shredded increases, the costs increase dramatically. An office shredder capable of handling large quantities can be quite expensive. Plus, workers can divert from their normal tasks and may end up spending hours a week shredding papers.

Shredding Services

Shredding services can handle documents from all different industries, including medical and legal, at all different volumes. There are several service options, such as mobile shredding where the shred truck comes to your location, and offsite shredding which tends to be more affordable since the shredding is at a secure offsite facility along with thousands of other papers.

On the other hand, the cons of shredding services typically are the costs. While you can request different levels and frequencies of service, smaller companies may not be able to afford a shredding service provider.

Step 3: Determine What Should be Shredded and What Should be Recycled

When it comes to determining what to shred, decide if you want to implement a “Shred All” policy or a selective shredding procedure.

Shred All Policy

A “Shred All” procedure is simple and easy for employees to remember because they shred every single piece of paper before tossing it. The downfalls of this type of procedure are that if you have your employees shredding your files it can eat up their time, and if you use a shredding service it may increase the cost as most providers determine the price by weight or volume

Selective Shredding Policy

The alternative to a “Shred All” policy is a selective shredding procedure. This type of policy allows management to predetermine which documents require shredding and which do not.

Additionally, this entails extensive planning, and all employees should have clear instructions. This policy may end up reducing the costs of shredding services. However, it may confuse employees, causing them to throw risk-sensitive information in the trash.

Complete Your Document Retention and Destruction Policy With Shred Nations!

At Shred Nations, we are dedicated to matching businesses with a shredding service provider who can meet their project and budget needs. We understand the pressures businesses are under to keep private information secure. Affordable shredding options are an excellent way to prevent data breaches and keep your organization safe.

Let us help you find a solution to your document destruction needs. Call us at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form and we will get you several quotes from local scheduled shredding service providers for free that can keep up with your destruction policy.