There’s always something pressing to do. Just when you’ve got a handle on your to-do list, another crisis, emergency, or opportunity pops us. Some tasks inevitably get pushed to the side to be dealt with later – and then later, and later. It becomes too easy to forgot about them. Information destruction can be one of these jobs. But handling in a timely and appropriate manner is essential.
If you do not destroy printed and digital data:
- You put your customers’ data at risk. Whatever the nature of your organization – from healthcare to education to retail – you collect a phenomenal amount of data. From names and addresses to passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. Failing to properly dispose of this leaves it vulnerable to theft.
- You risk your reputation. A data breach of 1000 records can cost between $52,000 and $87,000. If you think it’s a problem faced by mega-corporations like Target, Yahoo, and JP Morgan Chase alone, you’re mistaken. Small companies are at heightened risk, and it can be harder for them to recover. When you put data at risk, you also put your reputation at risk. Stakeholders no longer trust you; they no longer want to provide their most sensitive information.
- You may be breaking the law. Destroying information isn’t only ethical, in many cases, it is the law. For example, healthcare providers, plans, and clearinghouses must comply with HIPPA laws, that require the secure disposal of protected patient health information. HIPPA outlines the manner in which printed and digital records must be destroyed. Information security specialists ensure you are in full compliance with HIPPA, FERPA, or other regulations.
Don’t wait to find out what happens if you don’t destroy information properly. You’re putting too much at risk.