Office workers use an average of 10,000 sheets of paper each year, half of which are thrown in the trash at the end of the day.

There is still a ton of paper in today’s business world. It’s more important than ever to secure sensitive documents and confidential data.

Are you a business owner, employee, or private citizen trying to learn how you can protect your documents?

Keep reading below to learn everything you need to know about confidential data destruction. We will give a confidential definition. Then, we’ll show you how to destroy virtual and paper documents.

What Confidential Data Should Be Destroyed?

Figuring out if a document is confidential can be murky. There are several levels of classification to consider.

Documents like medical records are protected. The law is called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Pricing lists, marketing plans, or customer databases are sensitive documents for most companies. But, they may not always be confidential.

Disagreements about confidentiality definitions are often settled in court. This may arise if a former employee takes customer leads. Or proprietary information may be leaked.

Companies and organizations should take steps to secure their information. They can do this with proper labeling, non-disclosure agreements, limiting document access, and more.

And, most importantly, they should carefully dispose of confidential materials.

Safely Disposing of Confidential Virtual Files

The use of computers and internet technology has made our lives easier. They also make it easier for hackers to steal confidential information.

The average data breach costs companies $3.9 million. This is the cost of forensic investigations and loss of business.

How can your company safely dispose of virtual documents or aging hardware?

  1. Erasing or overwriting data on a device
  2. Degaussing is using a high-powered magnet to destroy data
  3. Physical destruction can be done by shredding or melting pieces of hardware

Each of these options are available to businesses. They’ll ensure that data is destroyed safely and effectively.

Ways to Destroy Confidential Paper Documents

Destroying paper documents is much easier than dealing with virtual files.

The problem is some people and businesses forget to do it. They simply throw old documents in the garbage, which isn’t secure.

About 1 in 5 data breaches happen because of paper records, according to a 2015 study.

If you’re ready to start safely disposing of your old paper documents, here are some options:

  1. Shredding: You can either do it in-house or hire a company
  2. Pulping: Drop your documents in a container of water and bleach
  3. Burning: Use a standard fire pit and check local ordinances involving fire
  4. Other creative methods of ensuring your documents are gone forever

Are you outsourcing your document disposal? Make sure you get a Certificate of Destruction from the company.

Destroy Your Sensitive Documents

Don’t gamble on confidential data. Whether the law requires you to dispose of it or if you’re trying to protect your business, use the information we provided above.

Are you a business looking for effective and reliable shredding services? Request a quote now based on the materials and total quantity.