Some businesses out there will require the storage of physical files. Even in this modern digital age, it is sometimes necessary to keep things on paper. If this is the case for your business, you need to make sure that you are storing your physical files properly. Here are some tips to make sure you are always compliant when storing physical files.
Find the Right Location
Not everyone will have the space within their office for proper storage of documents. You need to make sure that you have the right space to work first. Even renting one more room for your office can be incredibly expensive and out of the question for your current budget.
It might be better to look into alternative storage options. These can help you have both your office and a secure location to store your documents for a much more affordable cost compared to finding space for both in one.
When storing physical files, they will most likely have extremely important information on them. You might not be able to redact this information since the files are being kept for reference, so you must come up with an alternative. Consider placing your physical files in a secure location and limit the access to those files as much as you can.
It might be as simple as only telling a few key members of staff where the files are located. Within those staff, only a few might have keys or know the codes needed to access them. The more you can limit someone’s access to these files, the safer they will be.
Know How Long You Need to Keep the Files for
Different industries require you to hold onto sensitive documents for a set period of time. If you do not, you might run the risk of facing fines and prosecution for the mishandling of sensitive data.
You need to know how long you can legally hold onto documents like this in your industry. If you aren’t sure how long this should be, consult a legal expert. They will tell you exactly how you have to hold onto things and what you need to do to make sure that you are always compliant. If you need to hold on to these documents for a long time, but don’t need to use them on a daily or even monthly basis, consider using an off-site document storage archive.
Destroy Documents Properly
If you are able to dispose of the documents in your possession, you need to make sure that you are completely destroying them properly. You do not want the data from these documents to fall into the wrong hands. It is up to your company to ensure that the data is destroyed correctly.
One of the best ways to destroy these documents is with a shredder. It can be a boring job to sit and shred document after document but it must be done. Make sure you have some sort of schedule which lets you know which documents are due to be destroyed so you are always compliant.
Ask the Experts
Sometimes you can’t destroy documents on your own. It might be worth looking for a company who can help you with secure document destruction. By outsourcing this requirement, you can be certain that the sensitive documents your office holds are always going to be destroyed in the best manner possible.
No matter what industry you work in, there is a chance that you will have to hold onto sensitive documents. It is your responsibility to find out how to hold them and when they are to be destroyed. Make sure you find out everything you need to know to avoid getting in trouble with the law. Holding onto sensitive data does come with risks but it is easier to be compliant when holding it than you may think.
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