Methods Your Company Should Use To Destroy Unneeded Customer Information

When your company has financial information of customers stored on computers or in paper form, you need to know how to dispose of this data safely. Even the simplest pieces of information such as addresses and phone numbers need to be protected as well. To accomplish this, it is important to know the industry standards for data destruction so you can protect your customers' information at all times.

Hard Copy Destruction

Before you start removing files from your company's location, you need to know the most effective ways of destroying these items. For hard copies, also known as paper copies, you need to choose a method that makes it impossible to piece any of the back together. Simply shredding them into thin strips is not a viable option, because it is too easy to put them back together if you have enough time.

The best option for hard copy destruction is to shred them into confetti sizes pieces and then have the pieces incinerated or recycled into other items. Incineration completely destroys the paper, but does nothing for the environment.

Choosing a shredding company that breaks the paper all the way down and then reuses may better fit your company's image. This can be especially important if you promote an environmentally friendly image to your clients. Both incineration and recycling the paper scraps are among the top choices for destruction of hard copies.

Electronic Data Destruction

For dealing with electronic data, you have a several options. One choice is to use electronic erasers that completely remove data from hard drives, thumb drives or laptops your company no longer needs.

Electronic erasers are designed to scrub the memory of a hard drive so that any information once on it is no longer found. The problem with this method is that some of these programs need to be used several times in a row before all of the data is fully erased. In this situation, you want to destroy the hard drives using a drill or hammer, which breaks the components apart. Destroying this part of the machine will make it impossible to retrieve any information that was stored within the operating system, thus permanently protecting your customers' information.

Another option is to hire a company, such as STS Electronic Recycling, that specializes in electronic recycling. These companies erase data, physically destroy hard drives and recycle the unwanted materials from your electronics. With their assistance, you are guaranteed to be using the best practices for protecting any type of information that was stored within these electronic devices.