Over the years, you’ve probably shared your personal and business history with a number of professionals and trusted advisers. And because of the nature of these relationships, you’ve probably handed over, mailed or emailed a wealth of documents containing sensitive information.
When was the last time you asked the professionals in your life – the doctors, attorneys, bankers, accountants, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, psychologists, business coaches, and insurance agents — how they handle sensitive documents?
The 2017 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research reported that in 2016, 15.4 million people were victims of fraud, totaling $16 billion dollars, a record high. The problem? There is a lack of proper information disposal, along with inadequate document shredding programs within businesses and organizations. You can learn more about identity fraud trends and safety tips here.
You are hopefully accustomed to thinking about documents in your home or office that you need to shred. (If you aren’t, it’s time to get up to speed. This blog post on personal and business records will help.) But it’s equally important to think about records that are stored by others. These records may include customer lists, credit card information, medical records, signatures, confidential letters/memos, legal contracts, tax records, payroll information and Social Security information.
Federal law requires businesses, financial firms and health care providers to protect client and patient information. As of June 2005, for example, under FACTA (the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act), businesses “that possess consumer information for a business purpose must properly dispose of such information. Examples include burning, pulverizing, or shredding papers containing consumer information, or destroying or erasing electronic media containing such information.”* Other laws that impact the security and safety of documents include HIPAA, Gramm Leach Bliley, and Sarbanes-Oxley.
If you haven’t thought to ask how your service providers and trusted advisers handle the sensitive documents you have turned over to them, you should. You might find that you need to remind them of the laws they are required to abide by for the safety and security of all of their clients. Ideally, businesses and professionals should use a third-party, professional document shredding company that is a AAA Certified member of the National Association for Information Destruction. The professionals and advisers in your life are all specialists in their trade, not document shredding. They don’t have the time or equipment to shred documents in their offices. In fact, if you asked any of them how they transport all the bales of shredded paper to the paper mills, it’s likely you’ll get a blank stare.
Since 1997, Paper Tiger Document Solutions has handled records storage and residential and commercial shredding throughout the Chicago area and northeastern Wisconsin. Whether we provide shredding services at a client’s location in one of our mobile trucks, or we pick up documents and shred them at our facility, we provide a Certificate of Document Destruction.
*Congressional Research Service Feb 3, 2005Back to Blog