Document Retention Policy: Does Your Boston Business Have One?
When it comes to information security there are several components to consider, but an effective document retention policy is one process that every Boston business should strongly think about starting. Knowing what confidential material to store and what to shred, should be at the forefront of every business, especially throughout tax periods when information theft is at an all time high.
To help maintain security over your private information, keep in mind the following tips as a guideline:
- Information Audits: Audits are ideal in an effort to identify what kind of documents your business produces, and provides you with an inventory as to exactly what is being stored, which means you can easily manage and change it as you wish.
- Tax Records and Storage: Data retention has two important aspects; the period in which information will be of importance and purpose to the company, and the duration that information should be stored in relation to industry and government standards. For example, in the U.S. legally, payroll tax returns should be stored for 4 years. Every company regardless of its size and industry background must research and know which legislation is applicable to them.
- Regulatory Fines:While the law states that specific records must be stored, you can also be penalized for storing records past their retention period, which can in turn result in potential legal and financial consequences. As with the majority of privacy laws, The Data Protection Act compliance states that a record must be shred once the retention period has come and gone.
- Secure Emails:Sensitive information can include paper documents, electronic files, and online communication like emails. As shared on wired.com, the Panama Papers leak exposed over 4.8 million emails (as well as 3 million database files and 2.1 million PDF’s). If emails aren’t of importance to your business or no longer serve a purpose, make sure they are deleted within a timely manner.
- Simple, Fast Retrieval:Index all documents for convenient and fast access. Be sure to store all documents or electronic files in a locked area, or in a password protected program. Access should be limited accordingly, so that only employees who absolutely need details to carry out their job duties have it. Storing information that serves no purpose will only lead to an increase in security threats like data breach. Furthermore, it will take up significant space, costing you down the road.
Professional Document Shredding: The only secure and reliable way to dispose of paper or digital documents when they are no longer needed is through professional destruction services. Document destruction is a legal obligation for several documents, and partnering with experts helps to limit risk tremendously. Partner with a reputable shredding provider like A1 DATASHRED. We provide quality and efficient destruction services that follow a strict chain of custody from beginning to end, guaranteeing the highest security levels. Our team supplies customers with a Certificate of Destruction following shredding, which documents compliance for your record keeping. Choose from onsite or offsite document shredding; whatever works for your business.