Secure Shredding: The risks of improper document destruction practices


As a healthcare service provider, financial advisor, CPA, law office, or government entity, you handle sensitive information daily. Ensuring the secure disposal of confidential documents is crucial to protect the privacy of your employees, your clients’ and your organization, and to maintain compliance with data protection regulations.

When it comes to managing destruction of outdated records and items at the end of their document lifecycle, where, how and when you shred is important.

When should you shred information?

You should consider shredding any record containing personally identifiable information once it has served its purpose or reached the end of its retention period.

This includes documents such as

  • patient files
  • financial records
  • employment records
  • and backup media like CDs and DVDs

Why is secure document destruction important?

Improper disposal of confidential information can lead to serious risks. You are legally responsible for protecting your clients’ information, and failure to properly destroy documents could result in monetary fines. Additionally, when confidential information is disposed of improperly, it opens the door to data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Risks Associated with Improper Information Destruction Practices

Improper handling and disposal of sensitive information can lead to a variety of risks, including:

  • Data breaches: Unauthorized access to confidential documents can result in severe data breaches, jeopardizing your clients’ trust and tarnishing your organization’s reputation.
  • Identity theft: Improperly disposed documents can be used by criminals to steal personal information, leading to identity theft and financial fraud.
  • Regulatory fines: Failure to comply with data protection regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and FACTA can result in hefty fines and legal penalties.
  • Wasted time: Sorting through documents to identify which must be securely destroyed can consume valuable time. By implementing a secure document destruction policy, you can protect your clients’ data, maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, and minimize the risks associated with information disposal.
  • Reputational harm: Improper information disposal can damage your organization’s credibility and lead to negative publicity.

Document Destruction Options

When it comes to destroying secure information, businesses have a variety of options. For some businesses, running a small desk-side shredder seems like a great solution, but this process leaves a lot of margin for error. For example, you are trusting an employee to keep up with a routine shredding schedule, on top of their other duties. Additionally, not all trashcan shredders meet the compliance requirements for secure document destruction.

The most reliable and efficient way to protect confidential information is by utilizing a professional document destruction service. This type of service will come to your location, collect your documents for shredding, transport them securely to their facility for destruction, and provide a Certificate of Destruction that meets industry standards and many destruction providers, like Augusta Data Storage offer a variety of destruction services.

Onsite Shredding: Mobile document destruction services come to your location and provide on-the-spot shredding of sensitive documents in a secure, monitored environment.

Offsite Shredding: Secure offsite shredding is an option for when you have large volumes of documents requiring destruction. Documents are collected by a mobile shredding service or taken to an offsite shredding facility for destruction.

Hard Drive Destruction: When disposing of electronic devices such as computers and laptops, it’s important to securely erase or physically destroy any hard drives containing sensitive information. Hard drive destruction services are available to ensure that all data is completely destroyed before recycling or disposal.

Benefits of Partnering with Augusta Data Storage

Augusta Data Storage offers secure shredding solutions that help mitigate these risks while providing added benefits:

Secure Transport

Augusta Data Storage provides secure transport for your sensitive documents, ensuring they are safely transported from your location to their certified facility. You can trust Augusta Data Storage’s professional team to handle your documents with the utmost care and discretion.

Certified Facility

Augusta Data Storage operates a state-of-the-art, certified facility designed to provide maximum security for your documents during the shredding process. By partnering with Augusta Data Storage, you can have peace of mind knowing your sensitive information is protected at every stage.

Thorough Shredding Protocols

Augusta Data Storage employs rigorous shredding protocols, using advanced shredding equipment that ensures complete destruction of your documents. Their thorough process guarantees your confidential information is irretrievable, protecting you and your clients from potential risks.

Don’t DIY Data Destruction. Trust Your Secure Shredding to the pros

Protecting sensitive data should be a top priority for all organizations dealing with confidential information. By partnering with a secure shredding solution provider like Augusta Data Storage, you can mitigate the risks associated with improper information management and ensure the safety of your clients’ data. Don’t leave your organization vulnerable to data breaches, identity theft, and regulatory fines—choose Augusta Data Storage for all your information management needs.