Effective Ways to Destroy Confidential Information

The Paralegal Resource
November 2, 2012 — 3,375 views  
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Effective Ways to Destroy Confidential Information

Businesses need to understand that their customers' information, receipts, and documentation are not public records. These pieces of information are to be kept confidential, and at the appropriate time, completely destroyed. In fact, in some industries, destroying customer data is a legal requirement. The reasons for destroying data and paper documents ranges from running out of space to store them, to having to destroy them for legal purposes. No matter the reason they are being destroyed, businesses need to take the time to learn how to properly rid of their customers' data and documents.

Paper Documents

The best and most simple way to destroy paper documents is to use a paper shredder. There are many different types of shredders available for purchase, making it pertinent that a high-quality shredder is used. Some of the most common types of shredders include micro-cut shredders and cross-cut shredders. Some businesses opt with using strip-cut shredders, but cross-cut and micro-cut shredders shred documents into much smaller pieces. If a company chooses to not invest in shredders, it can take its paper documents to a shredding services provider, however, a paid-fee will be expected in return for the services rendered. Another way to go about destroying data on paper documents is to burn them.

Computer Data

For businesses who use computers to complete transactions and store customer information, it is important to know how to destroy any confidential data. Many companies think you can simply use the delete key to rid of files and information, but, in most cases, the data will not be deleted on a permanent basis. For those people who are computer-savvy, restoring and acquiring deleted data is very simple if it is not permanently deleted. There are several ways to go about permanently deleting confidential computer data.

Erase the Hard Drive:

Wiping a hard drive clean of all of its data is a great way to go about destroying confidential data. Programs can be used to accomplish this task in which they overwrite the original files with random data; this prevents any original data from being retrieved.

Shred the Hard Drive:

Confidential information on CDs and hard drives can also be destroyed by shredding. In order to effectively shred a hard drive or CD, the pieces need to be taken out of the devices they are being used in and holes need to be drilled into them in strategic places, and they also need to be scuffed and broken with a hammer.


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