Handling clients' data
Companies manage data from their clients on a daily basis. Depending on the product they sell or the service they provide, they will require information in order to work properly. Some of that info they often request includes contact data for all purposes regarding their product, the client's history of consumtions and preferences, and all specifications said client might have provided. This can include quite sensitive information just as home address, private phone number, e-mail address and even credit card numbers.
Certain companies work with even more delicate information. In example, finance companies often have access to their clients' account information and money flow records. Advisors and counselors need to know details about a client's company or personal life. Mental health professionals know about thei patients' biography and deepest secrets. Architects have seen the blueprints of a person's house. And so on.
Customers are rarely happy with companies holding their personal information, so in order to retain them and look reliable to their eyes, firms should have an information disposal policy. Digital files can be erased, but physical records like paper are a different matter.
The Data Protection Act
In order to ensure the safety of personal information, the Data Protection Act states that all entities, including companies and the government itself, must follow a protocol when handling their clients' data. The act does not only refer to data disposal, but general practices when dealing with information. It states that it must be confidential and secured, and only used for the specific purpose of the entity. It must not be shared with others without the person's consent, and it must not be kept for any longer than absolutely necessary. This prevents data accumulation that could generate data banks later used for bad purposes.
Companies sometimes store information of their clients in order to target marketing campaigns and special offers, and some black hat practices including selling this information to third parties, often for the same purpose. Also, there are security concerns when dealing with monetary information, personal access keys and passwords, and socially sensitive data that could lead to discriminatory actions. There are special regulations that concern sensitive information, which encompasses data such as health and sexual health, ethnic background, religion and criminal records.
Entities that do not comply with the Data Protection Act will have to face charges, so this is an additional reason for companies and institutions to handle their clients' data carefully.
The best way to get rid of papers
Even if data records are becoming more and more digitalized - with this type of database having its own security measures and concerns - papers are still widely used. They are harder to dispose of because they cannot be deleted by clicking a button. Also, throwing them into the trash bin isn't very safe either, because those willing to see or sell that valuable information could very well check the garbage and rescue all the information. Even ripping pages with your hands won't do the job, because those motivated enough to get those numbers and names, that could be worth millions, will take the time to put the pieces together.
Physical total destruction like burning isn't possible in a city environment, so entities must find a better way to get rid of this information. Hiring Shredding services is a great option. Companies like Shred First will arrive at your very offices or headquarters with their shredding machines and get rid of all the paper for you. There are three advantages to paper shredding.
1. It's effective
In a matter of seconds you will see pages dissappear. Shredded paper is easier to dispose of and companies offering shredding services often take their own shreedding machines and to the job in situ, so you don't have to dedicate any of your personal or your time to make sure it happens. Today's machines are very fast and can process piles of paper in a few minutes, so a shredding operation shouldn't interfere with your business schedule.
2. It's safe
Unlike ripped paper, that can be put back together with enough dedication, shredding turns pages into pieces so small they are virtually impossible to reassemble. Your client's information will be safe if you process papers this way.
3. It's environmentally friendly
Shredding paper does not produce polluting residues nor uses dangerous substances. Shredded paper is much easier to recycle beacuse it's already processed. You can find out more about the process of recycling paper at Recycle More, and see one of the first steps is, precisely, shredding the papers. You have done that already. Shredded paper is easier to pack and transport.