Storage & Shredding: Expert Advice

Records Management for Legal Professionals

Posted by Arielle Burdulis on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 @ 01:42 PM

Legal As a legal professional, you generate tons and tons of files and confidential client information. Your industry or professional associates counsels you on what you should be doing with this information, how long you should keep it for, and when it can  disposed of. Implementing the safe-keeping and safe destruction of your files though, is what is not so straight forward. Your private information is sacred to you, and you are probably weary of letting it out of your sight and handing it off to some self-storage company or leaving it unsecured in the office basement, as you should be. Then when it comes time to destroy those files of yours whose retention time is up, do you have the office intern sit at a paper shredder and manually feed your papers into an office shredder? How are those "shreds" then disposed of? Hopefully not in the dumpster.

As you can see, there are a lot of questions that arise even with the counsel of your industry advising you on what files to keep and for how long. To get rid of your headache, that is where records management company comes in. A reputable records management company can provide safe, and secure storage in climate controlled conditions where your files can be kept for the remainder of their retention period. When that retention period ends, a reputable records management company will also be able to provide certified shredding where after the shredding, the shreds are recycled so that no traces of your information exist except for the white pulp that may then be used again to fulfill one's morning coffee desires.

Find out what a Records Management company can do for YOU....

Need a place to get started? Click below...

Click me Click me

Need some pricing? Click below...

Click me

 Green Customized Shredding Quote

 

Tags: legal file shredding, Massachusetts State Laws, Boston, Office Records Destruction, 93I, 93H, non-compliance, Legal file archiving, compliance, Document Archiving, Records Storage boston, records storage worcester, identity theft, legal file storage, archiving

4 considerations for choosing the right Records Management Vendor

Posted by Sean Kelly on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 @ 03:00 PM

What to consider when choosing a records management vendor?Records management may be the most important business service that you've never heard of. In an era of increasing identify theft and more stringent regulations, however, it's time to get the facts on this important industry.

 


If your company handles or stores customer information like names, addresses, medical records, Social Security or bank account numbers, then finding a safe, secure way to both manage and dispose your office's paperwork isn't optional—it's mandated by law.  Depending on your industry, your business may be subject to federal laws like HIPAA or the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but state regulations often also apply. Some regs, like Massachusetts General Laws 93H and 93I, require companies to have written procedures that outline how paper and electronic files are secured on a day-to-day basis, as well as how they will be destroyed once they are no longer needed. When companies fail to meet these basic standards, they can be subject to prosecution and end up paying significant fines—sometimes per record.
A secure records management system starts with the right vendor
Here's where a Records Management System (RMS) comes in. These services come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but their purpose is essentially the same: to help companies manage their paper and electronic records in such a way that sensitive information is secured and properly stored, and remains accessible if needed in the future. A typical Records Management vendor will offer some (if not all) of the following services:

  • Site analysis and compliance documentation
  • Secure, off-site record storage for paper files
  • Online access to storage inventory
  • Scheduled document destruction services, one-time or ongoing
  • Document imaging for digital storage and retrieval
  • Disaster recovery planning

Of course, not all Records Management vendors are created equal. There are any number of companies to choose from—not all of whom can handle the job successfully.  Take the time to evaluate each vendor carefully, and consider the following:

NAID Certification
National Association for Information DestructionThe National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) offers training and certification for Records Management professionals. Records Management vendors with this credential have completed extensive training and have pledged to follow the standards and ethical practices of the NAID organization.



Compliance
A reputable Records Management vendor should know immediately what procedures your business needs to follow to be in compliance with federal and state laws. Educate yourself ahead of time regarding your particular industry so that you know whether their recommendations are on-target.

Security Issues
Secure storageLearn how the vendor you are considering secures its own facilities. Ask what safeguards are in place for physical files, as well as digitally stored information. Be sure that the company has a definite policy regarding employee background checks. Every employee, but especially those with direct contact with sensitive information, should be thoroughly checked before gaining access to your company's files.

Customer Service
The Records Management vendor you choose should provide evidence of their commitment to customer service. Consider how responsive and flexible the vendor has been during the sales process: Were they easy to reach? Able to offer scalable solutions to your particular company? Was their pricing competitive? Next, ask for references and determine whether or not existing customers are satisfied with their level of service. Finally, determine what procedures are in place to ensure that the vendor is accessible when needed. 24/7 online access to your records is an absolute requirement.

A reputable, service-oriented Records Management vendor will lower your company's risk exposure, reduce document storage costs and allow you to focus on growing your business. Take the time to evaluate your current and future records management needs—and then find the vendor who is right for the job.

 

Tags: Records management, Boston, Office Records Destruction, Federal FACTA, Records Retention, non-compliance, destruction, document management, compliance, Document Archiving, federal regulations, records management system, worcester shredding, archiving, new laws

7 Reasons why your shredder will NOT protect sensitive documents...

Posted by Sean Kelly on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 @ 08:36 AM
Document Shredding

Have you ever been fed up with your office shredder?

 

 Looking for a better, more convenient, economical, and less expensive solution? If you are, then you have found the right company. If you aren't yet convinced that outsourcing your shredding is more secure and less expensive than shredding in-house, please read below and let us know if it changes your mind!

Discarded shreds only tell the bad guys what to take.


The shredded materials from an office shredder are relatively easy to put back together. There is even a service available that electronically scans shreds for the purpose of reconstructing documents. If your shreds are simply discarded, all you have done is show the dumpster divers what to take.

NAID member Safeguard securely shreds all information which is immediately boxed and securely held for weekly pick up of shreds by a recycling company which is bonded by agreement to respect the confidentiality of all of the shreds they pick up. The company turns the paper into pulp which is then recycled into paper and other materials.

Employees don’t use shredders!  

 
In most small to medium sized companies, employees are already overwhelmed with work. It is not realistic to expect that a busy employee is going to faithfully go through the time-consuming inconvenience of laboriously putting everything they should destroy through a slow office shredder. Even if they place them in the shredder, someone often decides to throw them out to avoid the hassle and mess.

NAID member Safeguard can provide your business or office with a secure locked container into which employees can securely and conveniently deposit the documents that should be shredded. Simply put, convenience equals compliance and peace of mind.

Shredding yourself provides no records of compliance.


In the event of a privacy violation, compliant or audit, it is very likely that your firm will be asked to verify its compliance to information protection regulations. Shredding discarded information yourself provides you with no verifiable record of ongoing regulatory compliance.

NAID member Safeguard’s services give you a verified, ongoing record of regular compliance with legally mandated information destruction requirements.

Employees should not handle some sensitive information.

When your employees do the shredding, you have two options 1) You either have entry-level employees shred, in which case you may expose sensitive personnel records and competitive information to individuals not meant to see it, or 2) management-level employees, who are especially busy and paid top dollar to do more important work, do the shredding. Neither situation is acceptable.

Outsourcing your destruction needs to NAID member Safeguard solves this dilemma. Information destruction can happen very quickly with little, if any, actual handling by our screened personnel.   

Office shredders break down!

If you have ever owned an office shredder, you know they have a tendency to break down- even more so if you use them to shred everything you should. When this happens, the material to be destroyed piles up until the machine is repaired or replaced. The burden can become so great that there is a strong possibility that employees will cut corners and dispose of the material without destroying it in order to catch up.

If you are using the NAID member Safeguard, you are out of the equipment business for good. The solution to your information destruction compliance is secure, quick and convenient.

Office shredders won’t help you with large records purges!

Even if an office shredder could keep up with the large volume of daily shredding (which, in most cases, it can’t), what happens when you have to destroy more records than normal? Maybe you are cleaning old records out of storage or someone just clean out their office. Even the slightest surge in the amount of material to be destroyed creates a nightmare for employees armed only with a small office shredder. Of course, the greater risk is that someone simply will decide not to shred it.

NAID member Safeguard uses an industrial shredder capable of destroying hundreds of pounds of material per minute. Even a major purge of records doesn’t give our equipment the slightest problem.

The Shredder can’t handle some materials

The papers that need to be shredded are often held together by binders, paper clips, staples, and covers. These items normally need to be removed as the office shredders will not handle this material. Tapes, CDs, and other media also have confidential information on them. These items are only going to prematurely end the already short life of the office shredder if you try to destroy them yourself.

By using large industrial destruction equipment, NAID member Safeguard can handle anything you throw at us.

For more information on the NAID member Safeguard, please visit www.safeguardrecords.com or contact Sean Kelly, General Manager, directly at 508-795-1015.

"Let our office be your back office"

 

 

Tags: Massachusetts State Laws, shredding, Boston, Office Records Destruction, shredders, Office Shredder costs, Shredding company