Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year? It’s easy to let our business goals take a backseat to daily tasks, but now is the perfect time to check in and get back on track. Remember, securing your records isn’t a once-a-year task — it should be a daily priority for your organization.

Do you feel like your document security efforts have gotten off track throughout the first half of the year? We’re here to help you do a mid-year check-in and start planning for the final quarters of 2024.

Get Your Security Routine in Check

Protecting your documents is crucial for any business. It’s an ongoing effort that requires the participation of everyone in your organization. If you don’t have a document management system in place, you can take a few simple steps to ensure that your records are being used, stored, and disposed of correctly. Let’s explore some routine practices that you can implement in your office to safeguard your information.

Set Retention Requirements

Knowing how long to keep different documents is key to effective document security. Here are some general rules of thumb to help shape your retention strategies:

  • Tax Returns and Supporting Documents: Experts recommend that you keep copies of your tax returns for at least 7 years. Having access to these documents can save you time and hassle in the event of an audit or if you need to file an amended return.
  • Financial Statements: Keep financial statements, including income statements and balance sheets, for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Employee Financial Records: Safeguard employee records, including payroll information and tax forms, for at least 7 years, according to applicable labor laws.
  • Receipts and Expense Reports: Retain receipts and expense reports for business-related transactions for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Customer Data: To comply with various consumer protection laws and provide good customer service, we recommend keeping customer records for at least 5 years after ending the customer relationship.
  • Contracts and Legal Documents: Keep these for at least 7 years after the contract ends to address any potential legal claims or disputes that may arise.

Mid-year is a great time to start organizing and purging your business records. With tax season out of the way for the year, you’ll likely find plenty of records that have passed their retention period.  Shred any documents that are no longer needed and create a plan to regularly review and purge old records.

Pro tip: Check our Records Management Strategy Guide for more tips on building a retention schedule.

Set Up Secure Storage

Keeping your company’s documents secure is more important than you might have thought. Despite how prevalent cyberattacks are, your business can’t afford to overlook the threat of a physical breach. According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, physical breaches (such as document theft and loss) make up 43% of breached assets as of 2021. This shows how risky it can be to leave sensitive files lying around or toss them out the wrong way.

To keep track of who is accessing your stored items, ensure restricted access to your storage areas or locked filing cabinets. Keep an active list of authorized personnel for added security. For documents that you plan to destroy, set up secure records storage boxes or cartons to store them in until your next shred.

Pro tip: If you need help storing your records, Augusta Data Storage has specialized in secure document storage for over 30 years. We have equipped our facilities with advanced security systems and procedures to protect your information. Learn more about how we can help secure your documents today.

Schedule Your Shredding Services

Did you know that simply throwing away sensitive documents can put your business at risk? When it comes to destroying documents, there is no room for error. Properly disposing of any unneeeded records is crucial to avoid unauthorized access to confidential information. A regularly scheduled shredding program can help eliminate the risk of confidential information ending up in the wrong hands.

When it comes to setting a shredding schedule, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on what your business needs—be it weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual shredding. Consider your legal requirements, the volume of documents you handle, and your office space when setting up a shredding schedule.

Augusta Data Storage provides both one-time and regularly scheduled shredding services, so you can choose the option that best fits your needs. Learn more about our shredding services and how we can help keep your documents safe.

Pro tip: Need help deciding how often to shred? Our seven-question guide can help you determine the frequency that’s right for your business.

Begin Prepping for Year-End Tasks

Don’t let annual and bi-annual security tasks sneak up on you! As a part of your document management policy, make sure you have a plan for archiving and purging outdated records. If you archive and purge records at the end of each year, it’s time to start thinking about it now.

File Archiving

As you prepare to archive your records, plan a time to sort the items that need to be relocated. Then, find time to box, log, and store them.

If you are short on space or just need extra security, Augusta Data Storage has your answer. We offer off-site secure record storage solutions with 24/7 retrieval access, climate controlled storage for temperature-sensitive items, and NARA compliant storage.

File Purging

Remember to set time aside to sort through your records and schedule a purge for those you no longer need. Use your retention schedule to determine which records to destroy and which need to be retained for a longer period.

Augusta Data Storage offers secure document destruction services to ensure that any purged documents are disposed of properly. We guarantee secure destruction of sensitive information, protecting your business from data breaches.

Get Ready for End-of-Year Security Tasks with Augusta Data Storage

Managing your documents and data is crucial for safeguarding your business from physical and cyber threats. Secure storage, employee education, shredding, and archiving can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches and ensure compliance. It can be daunting, but we’re here to help!

Augusta Data Storage is here to help you get ahead of your mid-year and end-of-year security tasks. With our expertise and comprehensive suite of services, we can help you imeplement a document management strategy that meets your unique needs. Don’t wait until it’s too late—contact Augusta Data Storage today to ensure your documents are secure and compliant.