When an important document lands in your lap, how you'll dispose of it probably isn't your first thought. Despite this, you will need to find a safe disposal method eventually. Whether the document holds sensitive information about yourself or someone else, you have a duty to keep it safe. Failing to do so could result in identity theft. If you're running a business, you may also be breaching confidentiality laws. Fortunately, there are ways to achieve safe document destruction.
Store Documents Appropriately
When your confidential documents aren't in use, make sure that you store them safely. Ideally, you'll place yours in a filing cabinet with restricted access. If the document is in a workplace, don't leave it sitting on a desk. In some industries, such as healthcare, personal information should only be viewed on a need-to-know basis. Exposing documents for anyone to see could result in a breach of confidentiality.
Don't Let Bins Overflow
If you do need to throw a document away before safely destroying it, don't let your bins overflow. Overflowing bins could result in people seeing confidential information, or the documents could fall into the wrong hands. Ideally, you'll use a bin with a lid that you can close tight until you're ready to destroy the documents.
Don't Use the General Recyling Bins
If your home or workplace uses a paper and cardboard recycling bin, you may be tempted to throw documents in there. After all, is it really that likely that someone will fish them back out again? Unfortunately, recycling bins are far from secure and your documents will pass through several hands before reaching their final resting place. Because of this, it isn't safe to take the risk.
Shred Your Documents
Shredding your documents is an excellent way to keep them from prying eyes. Few people will go to the effort of piecing small fragments of paper back together as though they're completing a puzzle. However, you do need to make sure that shredding your documents allows you to meet confidentiality guidelines in your industry. If not, you may want to use a document destruction service. Most document destruction services follow strict disposal guidelines so that you know that your information is safe.
When disposing of documents, you need to make sure that you do so safely. This becomes especially important when they feature identifiable medical information or financial details. With the right steps, you can guard your information against prying eyes.