Document Destruction FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions: Shredding and Document

Who needs document destruction services?

All businesses have occasion to discard confidential data. Customer lists, price lists, sales statistics, drafts of bids and correspondence, and even memos contain information about business activity which would interest any competitor. Every business is also entrusted with information that must be kept private. Employees and customers have the legal right to have this data protected. Do you know what your employees are doing with customer’s confidential information? Do you have a system in place? 

Without a secure document destruction company and the proper safeguards, information ends up in the dumpster where it is readily, and legally, available to anybody. The trash is considered by business espionage professionals as the single most available source of competitive and private information from the average business. Any establishment that discards private and proprietary data without the benefit of destruction, exposes itself to the risk of criminal and civil prosecution, as well as the costly loss of business. A recent court decision sided on the side of “dumpster divers” saying the information in the dumpster was accessible to the public.

When should stored records be destroyed?

The period of time that business records are stored should be determined by a retention schedule that takes into consideration their useful value to the business and the governing legal requirements. No record should be kept longer than this retention period. 

Without a Record Storage Company and by not adhering to a program of routinely destroying stored records, a company exhibits suspicious disposal practices that could be negatively construed in the event of litigation or audit. Also, the new (Federal Rule 26) requires that, in the event of a law suit, each party provide all relevant records to the opposing counsel within 85 days of the defendants initial response. If either of the litigants does not fulfill this obligation, it will result in a summary finding against them. By destroying records according to a set schedule, a company appropriately limits the amount of materials it must search through to comply with this law. If you have ever been sued, we cannot tell you how valuable this destruction could be.

From a risk management perspective, the only acceptable method of discarding stored records is to destroy them by a method that ensures that the information is obliterated. Documenting the exact date that a record is destroyed is a prudent and recommended legal precaution.

Do you have a document destruction company and program to control your discarded data? Without a program to control it, the daily trash of every business contains information that could be harmful. This information is especially useful to competitors because it contains the details of current activities. Discarded daily records include phone messages, memos, misprinted forms, drafts of bids and drafts of correspondence. Don’t let your hard work get into your competitors hands. 

All businesses suffer potential exposure due to the need to discard these incidental business records. The only means of minimizing this exposure is to make sure such information is securely collected and destroyed.

Can't we just recycle our documents instead of shredding? 

To extract the scrap value from office paper, recycling companies use unscreened, minimum wage workers, to extensively sort the paper under unsecured conditions. The acceptable paper is stored for indefinite periods of time until there is enough of a particular type to sell. 

There is no fiduciary responsibility inherent in the recycling scenario. Paper is given away or sold and, by doing so, a company gives up the right to have a say in how it is handled. There is, also, no practical means of establishing the exact date that a record is destroyed. In the event of an audit or litigation, this could be a legal necessity. And, further, if something of a private nature does surface, the selection of this unsecured process could be interpreted as negligent. For all these reasons, the choice of recycling as a means of information destruction is undesirable when managing risk.

Whose responsibility is it to certify that the materials have been destroyed, and what is a Certificate of Destruction?

Any company contracting an information destruction service should require that it provide them with a signed testimonial, documenting the date that the materials were destroyed. The "certificate of destruction", as it is commonly referred, is an important legal record of compliance with a retention schedule. It does not, however, effectively transfer the responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of the materials to the contractor. 

If private information surfaces after the vendor accepts it, the court is bound to question the process by which the particular contractor was selected. Any company not showing due diligence in their selection of a contractor that is capable of providing the necessary security could be found negligent. 

Practically speaking, if proprietary or private information is lost or leaked by the fraud or negligence of a vendor, the obligations of that vendor are irrelevant. The firm whose information falls into the wrong hands stands to lose the most, either through loss of business, prosecution or unfavorable publicity. Let Shred King assist you in setting up a process that protects your interests and addresses these issues.

Can I access my records any time I need them?

Yes! SK Record Storage Company provides 24x7 delivery service. When you need to see your records, just let us know in writing or by fax. Our delivery services include standard delivery, which covers normal business hours, 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. Our emergency delivery covers after hours, weekends and holidays, and your documents are guaranteed to reach you within two (2) hours of your request.

What is the normal time for pick up and delivery?

During regular business hours, 8am to 4pm, and under normal operating conditions, SK Record Storage will deliver and pickup records the next business day. If you need an emergency delivery, during regular business hours, we will deliver your records within two (2) hours of the time we receive your request.

How do you keep track of my records that are in storage?

We use a bar code system. With the bar code system we can scan and keep track of anything that comes in or out of our facility. This saves time, saves work and lessens the chances of error.

What security measures control access to the building?

Your records are stored in a locked facility that is kept closed to the public. Only a minimum number of our personnel have access to the storage areas. The facility is equipped with a security system that monitors 24 hours a day.

Can we use our own boxes for storage?

Yes. We have specially designed and constructed storage boxes but we will except standard records storage boxes provided they are not damaged.

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Boston Massachusetts Paper Shredding Service & Record Storage Company

Shred King Corporation

12 Mear Rd Holbrook, MA, 02343
(617) 221-1600