These days many businesses are going paperless, signaling the beginning of the end of the age of paper. Many banks are offering a paperless option, many times the cheaper option, and the ability to receive bank statements through e-mail rather than through the mailbox. There is also the option to have receipts emailed instead of receiving a physical receipt while shopping in many modern coffee shops and other commercial centers.
This change from paper to electronic data has a couple immediate implications. First, it means that the importance of data security is changing. The destruction of paper documents is still as important as ever, but the way electronic data is handled is becoming more important than ever. Going Paperless may be the new trend, but that doesn’t eliminate the need to be safe and wise with the handling of sensitive information dealt with in today’s world.
Being Paperless Doesn’t Mean No Paper
While dealing with more information electronically than ever before, much of the sensitive information dealt with by the healthcare community is still printed out and recorded in ink, meaning that the sensitive information of patients will need to be dealt with eventually by the healthcare provider.
The IRS suggests that tax records be kept for up to 7 years. That’s a long time. That means that every year there is going to be sensitive information from the past years that needs to be shredded and dealt with appropriately. Tax records and other business records, such as employment and business ledgers, can deal with very confidential financial information that needs to be kept safe.
The Safe Handling of Data Will be Important when Paper is Gone
As paper becomes less and less common, the safe storage and protection of electronic data is going to ensure that document destruction is always an important factor of the economy and business. The idea that being paperless removes any need for the safe storage of data is simply not true. Identity thieves and those on the prowl for sensitive information can just as easily find this information online and electronically as they could visually scanning a desk or digging through trash looking for sensitive information.
The important thing to remember is that the information age does not mean that the time for the safe handling of data and documents has come to an end. Threat intelligence is as important now as it has ever been, and the sensitive information dealt with on paper still needs to be dealt with appropriately. As the time for data to be stored electronically comes, it is going to be important for companies to deal with sensitive information electronically and practice safe practices for the storage and destruction of electronic data.