The importance of disposing information securely was once again highlighted last year, when the NHS were fined £200,000 by data regulators. The NHS misplaced sensitive information of over 3,000 patients.
Of course this is just one example, worryingly they are all too common.
The Data Protection Act 1998 was designed so businesses had to take responsibility for handling confidential information. Ensuring your information is stored and disposed of securely is very important; a fine of up to £500,000 can be issued for failure to comply.
If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
— Kahlil Gibran
So how can you protect your company’s information?
‘Lockable bins’ or ‘storage consoles’ are great ways to protect confidential documents in your office that you no longer require. When the console is full, they can be exchanged using a weekly or monthly shredding collection service.
- Make sure the secure bin or console is locked
- Make sure you always receive a certificate once shredding has taken place.
- Discover which DIN Level do you require? (Din = Level 1 Low Security – Level 6 Top Secret, Classified)
Technology is rapidly evolving and we are also seeing increasing requests for destruction of computer hardware, disks and memory sticks. Ensuring your old computers are disposed of securely is also very important. At L&R we offer a daily, weekly, monthly or one off paper shredding service, as well as being able to destroy your unwanted computer hardware.
It used to be expensive to make things public and cheap to make them private. Now it’s expensive to make things private and cheap to make them public.
Clay Shirky, Internet scholar and professor at N.Y.U.
Shredding and recycling your unwanted documents minimises the impact your business has on the environment. Recycling one short ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 26,497 litres of water, three cubic yards of landfill space, 320 litres of oil and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough energy to power a three bedroom house for an entire year!
Do not overlook the security measures to protect your business data, it’s the equivalent of leaving your front door open. Information security risks are very real and something we should all take seriously. Whether it is physical or digital records it’s important to protect your information by any means necessary. Data in the wrong hands can be very dangerous and can expose your company to financial, business and reputation risk. The cost of data protection is well, priceless.