Storage & Shredding: Expert Advice

Off-Site Vs. On-Site Shredding, What's the Real Deal?

Posted by Sean Kelly on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 @ 09:59 AM

One of the biggest changes to the shredding industry over the years is the appearance of the "Mobile Shredding Truck". Usually coming fully equipped with a shredder, tv monitor, and a big bad name, shredding trucks have their good qualities, but poor ones too. A lot of companies seem to enjoy the ability to view in "real time" the shredding of their documents. Unfortunately, what a lot of companies don't know is that on-site shredding can be performed by less than qualified staff and a less than qualified company.

Yes, you heard it right. Anyone with a cell phone, a one page website, and a truck can pass themselves off as a mobile shredding company. Are their services actually helping you become compliant with the laws? Do they have strict information security policies in place? What happens if the truck breaks down (like in the picture below). What is the level of security of the shredder that is being used in the truck? Some mobile shredding trucks have shown to actually let WHOLE CHECKS pass through, unshredder (proof is in the pudding, I mean picture, below). These are some things you need to question before electing to use a mobile shredding company.

Shredding security  How secure is your shredding operations
How comfortable would you feel if your
documents were shredded in that mobile truck?
 And then, ask yourself, how comfortable 
would you feel having a mobile shredding
truck shred your documents when the 
shredder lets WHOLE CHECKS pass through?

 

Off-site shredding is done by a shredding company who has a warehouse (real estate), an industrial shredder, and a bonded and insured warehouse staff, at the very least. Usually, a company that performs off-site shredding also offers and performs other records management related services and they hold certifications and memberships in order to do so, adding to their legitimacy.

I like the analogy of likening an off-site shredding company to a bank. You give the bank your money but you don't see them put it in the vault, so how do you know it is safe and will be there when you need it? Because a bank is insured. With a bonded and insured shredding company, you have the same circumstances. You don't need to watch the shredding be performed to know that your document will be securely and properly disposed of due to associations like NAID, the National Association of Information Destruction. NAID is the association that verifies and puts their "stamp of approval" on those companies who follow the highest security measures in their shredding operations. 

We aren't saying that you should not use a mobile shredding company (but you really shouldn't!) but what we are saying is, we don't think this mobile shredding trend is here to stay. What do you think? Feel free to leave you comments in the box below...

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Why The Personal Shredder Just Doesn't 'Cut' It

Posted by Sean Kelly on Tue, Oct 09, 2012 @ 10:22 AM

Next time you're thinking of using a personal shredder for the disposal of your credit card statements, bank account information, insurance policy information, or even those "junk mail" credit card offers, you may want to think again. In a recent article by MSN money, the personal shredder was shown to fall "below the cut" when it comes to document security and keeping your sensitive information out of the hands of identity thieves. The article highlights how earlier in the year, a couple was arrested and charged with identity theft after putting back together the shreds from a personal shredder that were discarded in a trash bag. From these reassembled shreds, the perps were able to gain access to routing numbers and bank accounts and stole over $1,000 from a local church by using fraudulent checks (it was later discovered by detectives that the theives had machinery that used the shreds to reconstruct checks and pass them off as legitimate).

So what is the difference between a personal shredder and a shredding company? Are you thinking that they do the same things? If so, think again! Personal shredders are much different than industrial shredders, and what is done with the shreds afterwards is done so that even beyond the shredding process, your information is kept secure until it is completely obliterated, and turned into pulp, without the chance of anyone having access to it ever again.

Personal Shredder Shreds

(typically strip-cut)

Industrial Shredder Shreds

(highest security available)

secure shredding

 Let Safeguard Records Management securely, and properly destroy your information and help you feel confident in the security of your information, even after it has been shredded. To request more information, or to request a quote, click on any of the following buttons. You'll be happy (and feel more secure) that you did!

 

-Laws affecting you and your industry

-Contact us

Green Customized Shredding Quote

 

For more information on the articles mentioned above, please visit the MSN Money article

 

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Never Want to Have to Spring Clean your Documents Again?

Posted by Sean Kelly on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 @ 03:00 PM

grassIt's that time of year again, time for spring cleaning. Usually most people spend daunting days and countless hours organizing their documents every year, but we think that should change. Instead of having everything pile up each year waiting to steal your precious spring days away from you to organize it all, why not implement a plan, a document organization plan, that would allow you to never have to waste spring days again??

We'll do you one better than just telling you that you should formulate a plan, we'll GIVE you the plan! And its SIMPLE! What could be better? If you follow our three-step plan, we know that these three steps will bring you closer to free spring days and futher away from docu-disaster.

Step 1: Digitize. When you come across important documents or files, scan them. Save them on a hard drive, disk, or flash drive. Ensure that these are all secure electronic storage methods by password protecting documents. If you can do this daily or even weekly and get into the habit of it, you will thank yourself in the long-run.

Step 2: Decide. So you've digitized important files. Now you need to decide whether or not the document should have a hard copy stored or if the document is safe to be securely shredded.

Step3: DO! Once you have decided to either store the documents or shred the documents, DO IT!

Having a certified and secure document shredding and archiving vendor can not only help to save you time in that you don't have to shred the documents yourself and office space in not having to store your documents on-site, but a vendor makes it easy to get in the habit of storing and shredding. If you have a box of documents you need to add to your storage account, just give them a call and they should be able to retrieve your box, barcode it, add it to your inventory, and securely store it for you.  They should also be able to deliver any documents or files to you upon request. A vendor that stores your documents as well as shreds them is a blessing. Usually, a vendor can provide you with locked, slit-top shredding bins or console that can be placed in your office that you can place sensitive documents into whenever you come across them. Change out of full bin or console for an empty one is just a phone call away.

So now you've got a plan. Give us a call and lets get started!

Green Customized Shredding Quote

 Click me

 

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Tax Records: What To Keep and For How Long? Get Your Answers Now!

Posted by Arielle Burdulis on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 @ 12:31 PM

Right about now there are two types of people in the U.S., those who have done their taxes, and those who haven't. The big deadline is April 17th... a mere weekend and day away. Luckily, for both types of people, there is no deadline for figuring out what in the world to do with all of your tax and related financial documents, past and present. And thus, the question begs to be asked; how long do I need to keep all of my important tax information? And what do I need to keep?  We will start with this: three years is the golden standard for some tax documents, since that is the amount of time the IRS has to audit someone, but other documents should be kept forever, as they can come in handy in many future situations. We’ve put a table together below to help sort it all out for you…

Document Type

How long to keep it?

What to do with it?

Financial Records

(W-2’s, cancelled checks, receipts, bills, etc.)

3 years (minimum)

Securely shred after a minimum of 3 years

The tax return itself

(1040/accompanying forms, etc.)

Indefinitely

Ideally, secure storage of the hard copy documents is preferred. If that’s not an option for you, another option is to digitize the documents with a scanner and securely shred the paper documents.

Stock Purchase Receipts

(With the date and price paid for each)

Indefinitely

Secure storage or digitize and securely shred

Home Improvement Records

(To help in offsetting taxes if you ever sell your home)

Indefinitely

Secure storage or digitize and securely shred

We recommend keeping hard copy files of all of your documents until their retention time is up rather than digitizing them due to the possibility of a data breach that could lead to your digital information being stolen. Identify and credit card theft is all too common these days and any ways to reduce that possibility are always stressed and thus, the secure shredding of all of your tax and financial records once their retention time is up is necessary to keep ensuring that your information has no way of getting into the hands of a thief. The best bet for shredding is always utilizing a shredding company, brownie points if they are NAID members, who use shredders that not only tear the papers into easy to put back together strips, but pulverize the paper, turn it into pulp, and then recycle it.

Tax season already has its drawbacks, so don't let information theft be one of them... request more information on keeping your information secure by clicking any of the buttons below!

 

Green Customized Shredding Quote  Click me

 

 

(See this article for more specific information on what the above is a summary about: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/04/02/149714051/you-should-keep-tax-records-but-how-and-for-how-long)

 

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A Resolution for Records Management

Posted by Sean Kelly on Tue, Jan 10, 2012 @ 11:25 AM
 

New years resolutionAs the memories of our New Year's celebrations begin to fade, all too often so do our memories of our New Year's resolutions. However, no matter how easy it is to slide back into old habits, the New Year is an excellent time to work on making yourself better. The same goes for records management. Now is the perfect time to create a set of resolutions for proper record storage, retrieval, and document shredding. In that spirit, here are our suggestions:

Resolution 1 – We Will Assume All Paper Has Potentially Private Information

No matter how hard you train your employees on NPI procedures, mistakes happen. A document gets mis-filed, or a worker jots down a social security number on scrap paper because their computer locked up.  And, document shredding is cheap. If you shred everything when it's no longer needed, you can't risk an NPI violation, and it reduces your storage and retrieval costs too. An added perk is that most reputable shredding companies recycle all of the paper they shred!

Resolution 2 – We Will Remember That Electronic Records Need Management Too

Yes, having everything computerized makes record storage and retrieval easier, but computers also enable poor records management too. Without physical paper around, filing and destruction deadlines can pass unnoticed. Make sure that your electronic records are policed as carefully as your paper documents.

Resolution 3 – We Will Properly Organize and Barcode Everything We Store

A proper barcoding system does wonders for record storage and document retrieval. It makes final retrieval easier, and allows for a simple way to establish the chain of custody for any set of records. When tied to database software, this also allows for automated tracking of when document shredding time has come around for a particular set of records. Most of the time, if you elect to utilize the help and expertise of a records management company, they will usually either aid in, or perform, the barcoding and organization process for you.

Resolution 4 – We Will Start A Review of Our Records Management Today!

There's no time like the present. Even if you're certain that your business is current on its record storage, document shredding, and data retrieval policies, there's no harm in giving a thorough review of your policies to make sure they're being followed but most importantly, make sure that the policies you have in place are not out of date. Older procedures are not optimized to save time or money because they don’t take advantage of the services that have become more available and more attainable over the years. If you're behind on your record-keeping or you think your policies and procedures could use a tune up, now is definitely the time to start!

And if you need help, don't hesitate to contact us here at Safeguard Records Management Co.  With over fifteen years of experience in record storage and retrieval, and multiple options for secure document shredding, we can help you become fully organized no matter what field you're in.

 Click to read more information on, or request a quote for, Document Shredding and Records Storage to get started on your RM Resolution!

 

 

 

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4 Tips for (easy!) Document Managment & Organization

Posted by Sean Kelly on Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 09:55 AM

Securely store or shred your documentsIf it's the end of the year/fiscal year for your office or business or you have been trying to get your paper documents organized for the past couple of year and you still have a backlog of documents and files that require cataloguing or destruction, we might be able to give you that boost of help to get your on your way to completing your records management project.

Having all of your important documents organized is essential to keeping your firm or office on-track and efficient, but the actual organization process can be tedious and painstaking. Still, it is important to keep an accurate record of your documents and to find out which documents you can safely dispose of.

An easy way to approach your end-of-the year document organization is to label your files and documents in 1 of 3 ways;

      For “Destroy"Paper shredding

 

For “Off-Site Storage”Secure off-site storage

 

For “In-House Storage”Office Storage

 

Having documents, records, patient files, and financial information organized and accounted for boosts an offices productivity and capacity. You know you need to tackle the issue, but how can you do it efficiently and at a minimal cost?

Below are four tips that can make your end-of-year document organization easier to deal with. These four tips can be done with the cooperation of a certified document shredding and storage company, allowing your firm, business, or office (and your life!) to operate as efficiently as possible with minimum interruptions.

  • Carefully classify and index documents. Before you can relocate or destroy documents, you’ll have to know what you’re dealing with. Indexing documents into the above three categories not only helps you find out exactly what documents your firm or office has but also lets you determine which documents you can safely destroy, which ones need to go into off-site storage, and which ones need to be kept on-site. Document indexing and classification also helps save you time in the future by allowing you to find the documents you need quickly and without struggle. You will also be putting in place a system that can easily be followed for years to come.

 

  • Digitize physical documents. Document digitization for use in a computer repository helps improve access and availability to important documents. Not only does this make it quicker to find what you need for legal and auditing purposes, you may be able to reduce the amount of physical paperwork you need to keep in the office and move the hard-copy records to an off-site storage facility or even have them securely destroyed if they are not needed.

 

  • Package documents for off-site storage. Off-site storage with a Records Management company frees up extra space for in-house document storage of frequently used and referred to documents and it saves you money and time when compared to self-storage where you often pay for unused space.Once you’ve segregated documents for off-site storage from sensitive material that requires destruction and materials that should be kept in the office, be sure to carefully pack and clearly label these items for future reference. Labeling is important for quickly locating stored documents for when you need to access your documents. It also aids in prompt file retrieval by your records management companies’ warehouse staff. A simple alphabetical labeling system on numbered boxes can greatly reduce the time it takes to find any document you may need and makes adding additional files to your storage boxes in the future quick and easy.

 

  • Securely shred and destroy sensitive documents. Now that you’ve gotten your necessary documents stored away, you can focus on having the rest destroyed. It is highly recommended to call on the services of a certified document shredding company to destroy sensitive and private documents. Doing so will prevent instances of confidentiality violations and industrial espionage.

 

Once you are able to implement an efficient system for your records management, any future managing will simply become easier and easier.

Click on any of the following to get a jump start on your end-of-year organization and be provided with a complete and economical solution for all of your document organization needs

 

 

 Green Customized Shredding Quote Click me 

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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"

 

 

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Safeguard introduces it's future Manager of Shredding Operations.

Posted by Sean Kelly on Wed, Mar 02, 2011 @ 07:42 AM

Safeguard introduces it's future Manager of Shredding Operations.

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Important New Data Protection Laws Regarding Sensitive Information

Posted by Arielle Burdulis on Thu, Nov 05, 2009 @ 06:28 AM

What are 93H & 93I?

Laws Affecting your business

Massachusetts General Law 93H
93H requires all businesses in Massachusetts to take serious measures to prevent identity theft. Any business holding the name of a Massachusetts resident and their Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number, or financial account number (including credit or debit card numbers) is subject to this new Massachusetts data protection law.

What are you required to do?

Among the compliance standards for this new data protection law include the following:

A written comprehensive information security program (CISP).

Controls on employees’ access of sensitive information, including physical security safeguards, computer user access levels and user authentication protocols.

Security measures on computer information systems, including data encryption, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and firewalls.

Periodic review of audit trails and monitoring of systems for unauthorized access.
Proper disposal of sensitive information, as outlined in new Massachusetts data protection laws.
Massachusetts General Law 93I.

93I requires the shredding or destruction of any paper files containing sensitive information and the erasure or destruction of any electronic files or data storage devices containing personal information of employees or customers.

93I also requires a written policy regarding the disposal of sensitive information.

What are the penalties? 


A violation of 93H levies fines of up to $5000 per record compromised.

A violation of 93I levies fines of up to $100 per record compromised with a maximum of $50,000.

This does not take into consideration the loss of your company’s hard-earned reputation and the potential loss of credit.

Safeguard can help guide you through compliance. Call Sean at 508.795.1015 for a Free Assessment, email Sean at operations@safeguardrecords.com or log onto www.safeguardrecords.com for industry specific information.

 

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