We have been shredding a LOT of documents this year. At Data Storage, we are calling this the year of the shred. We are asking everyone to look at shredding records this year.
As records managers we are taught the business value of records is inversely proportional to their age. Information is like fish, the fresher the better. Unfortunately, regulations and compliance issues often force us to keep records beyond their useful lives.
We just had a Department of Labor audit of our payroll records. Our time and attendance records are easily accesible and we were able to fulfill the audit requirements very easily. In our case the Department of Labor need to see two years worth of time cards. This is a prime example of being required to keep records beyond their usefull life.
As a small business owner, I do not have a business purpose for accessing time records for more than one year. Knowing the records business as I do, I was able to produce the records for the Department of Labor in about 10 minutes.
The audit went well and I think Data Storage is a better company for having gone through it. I'm just glad we didn't destroy those records when we were done with them instead of when the Department of Labor was done.
Watch those records retention schedules and life cycles.
- Short lived records include:
- Phone records
- Meeting invitations
- Administrative Emails
- Longer Lived records
- Purchase orders
- Insurance claims
- Accounting records
- Payroll records
- HR records
- Long-Lived Records
- Product liability related records
- Project files
- Oil and Gas records
- Medical Records
Shred as fast as you can, but no faster than you should. It easier said than done, but we can help. Drop us a line if you have questions about how long you should be keeping your records. We find that most of our new records storage customers are able to destroy about 30% of their records once implementing our plans.
DARPA just announced the winner of their "Shredder Challenge".
In 1979 when Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, two intelligence agents locked themselves inside a vault, refusing to come out until they'd shred every last piece on sensitive information they could find.
They finally surrendered in full confidence that they'd done their jobs and protected the lives and operations of their fellow agents. They were wrong.
It took a lot of time, but eventually Iranian authorities pieced the shreds back together and used the intelligence to track down and kill any operatives it could.
As a result, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) put this contest together to learn more about how to quickly and effectively destroy documents.
The team "All Your Shreds Are Belong To U.S." reassembled and decoded five documents to win the $50,000 prize.
The team was able to reassemble the 7 pages of documents made up of over 10,000 chads.
They used a combination of scanning, computer-vision algorithms in conjunction with human assemblers to put this stuff together.
If you want to keep your stuff secure, SHRED IT, THEN BURN IT!
(Side note: in our document shredding business, we shred, then have the shreds pulped by a paper recycler, who gives us a certificate of destruction for the SHREDS!)
I see what you've done there. Created a records shredding nightmare.
We always unload indoors before the trucks are parked!
Thanks to the folks at thechive.com for this photo.
A recent U.S. News story reports that 28% of employers are less likely to promote someone who has a messy workspace.
Heather Huhman reports on a CareerBuilder study of 2,662 hiring managers and 4,912 workers.
Findings aren't surprising.
- Clutter hurts productivity
- 28% of employers are less likely to promote a disorganized employee.
- 40% of employers say piles of paper in a work space negatively impact their perception of a worker.
Avoid the clutter by following a few rules. In some cases you may need to ask your boss for resources to help declutter and improve your workspace.
I know everything I've recommended here is common sense, but it's important to consciously incorporate these common sense practices to your end of the day routine.
According to the CareerBuilder study, following these steps may lead to faster promotion and more money for you!
Are you tasked to research shredding companies in Tulsa? We might have some help for you. We keep a log of every incoming phone call here at Data Storage. As part of our customer service and quality assurance we review these call logs on a regular basis. After analyzing the results, we found that potential customers are asking the same questions over and over about our shredding service. This is a digest of the best and most important of these questions we are asked.
Can your company provide certificate of destruction?
YES . A certificate of destruction is a document that is given to the customer as a proof of destruction. It confirms the inventory of items destroyed, who authorized that destruction, what methods were employed and the date they were destroyed. Customers should keep each certificate of destruction in file for proof of compliance. A reputable destruction service will provide this and provide an authorization form so that the customer provides, in writing, destroy instructions.
Can your company provide video of the shredding?
YES. For some sensitive records a video tape record of the destruction is often necessary documentation of destruction. A thorough destruction vendor can provide you with video recordings of your records, with box numbers and identifiers visible, as they are entering the shredder.
Does your company have Errors and Omissions insurance?
YES. Errors and omissions insurance covers any mistake which causes financial harm to another. Errors in the shredding business can definitely cause financial harm. Both by shredding the wrong document or by not shredding a document scheduled for destruction. Make sure your vendor can provide a proof of E&O insurance.
Can your company destroy hard drives and other electronic devices?
YES. More documents are now on hard drives, smart phones, handhelds and other devices than are on paper. Therefore you should make sure that information is properly destroyed and not retrievable.
Can your company destroy CD’s, DVD’s and Credit cards?
YES. It’s awfully nice to have a destruction vendor that can destroy all of your data no matter in what form.
Can your company provide me with a confidentiality agreement?
YES. Of course you want this. The employees are going to see the documents they shred. Even if they are destroyed, the employees have seen them. You need a confidentiality agreement with your destruction company.
Can you provide me with references?
YES, Absolutely. Salespeople sometimes lie, customers never do. References will let you know many of the following questions:
Does the company show up on time?
How are the drivers?
Was the bill fair?
Do you still use them?
How do you charge?
This is a great question. It’s different than “what do you charge.” Do you charge per box, per pound, per hour, per visit? You need to know up front and once we visit with you and gather the details we will gladly provide you a proposal in writing.
These are just a few of the questions we are asked that seem to make the most sense for a customer trying to find a destruction vendor. Please let us know what other questions you would ask in the comment section below.
There are numerous stories that hit the news feed daily about someone obtaining private health information or various other types of confidential information.
These unauthorized access stories that tend to get the coverage are typical high technology hackers tapping into your bank account or someone at the corporate office downloading and stealing information off the server. Maybe private passwords are lifted from your computer because a malicious program records every keystroke and sends it to a person with bad intentions. However, one of the most common methods is the low-tech and old fashioned way—going through your garbage.
We strongly recommended you choose a commercial destruction vendor that meets the NAID standard for destruction. This standard mandates destruction techniques such as cross cutting & pulping the paper. These companies often recycle the shreds for a bonus benefit.
Do not use shredders you can buy at your grocery store to securely destroy highly confidential information at your office. Buy your goods and produce at a fine grocery store like Reasor’s but keep the business of record destruction to the shredding professionals. Inexpensive shredders could make great homemade fettuccine though; they create lovely, consistent long strips that can be reassembled by criminals. This reassembly is called unshredding. The strips are called “noodles” or chad (remember the now infamous “hanging chads?”) Did you know that if these strips are not randomized by cross cutting they tend to come out of a shredder in close proximity to the original and can cling tightly together as a complete page? Also, if the document is not fed perpendicular to the sentence structure, complete lines can be read on many of the strips – no assembly required.
Those of us that work in an office know how easy it is to misprint something and just toss it in the trash and think nothing of it because we want to move on to our next task. Maybe your company is ambitious and environmentally conscious enough to formally enact a recycle process to minimize the amount of perfectly good, albeit used, paper that would otherwise end up in a land fill.
While the intention is great, the theft of unsecure documents slated for recycle will give you enough heart burn that you will be replacing paper in the land fill with plastic Maalox bottles. Once stolen private information gets “out there” and posted in cyberspace it’s virtually impossible to retrieve. If you think putting toothpaste back in the tube is difficult try getting back hundreds of private health records back from a thief.
We hope these are helpful ideas and we would appreciate your comments.
Going Green isn't just about saving the planet or joining the latest environmental crusade, it's about a positive impact on the environment and your bottom line.
Our clients in the legal industry are not only responsible ensuring the integrity of massive volumes of records but also the proper disposal of sensitive paper records. Data Storage, Inc. provides programs that are National Association for Informaton Destruction (NAID) certified, plus the added benefit that the paper is recycled back into various paper products such as boxes and effectively closing the recycle loop.
Consider that if you shred 3,000 boxes of paper documents you help save:
More than 1,000 trees, 22,800 gallons of oil, 192 cubic yards of landfill, 2,400,000 kilowatts of energy and 420,000 gallons of water. In fact in the United States alone we use enough paper generated from offices to build a 10 foot high fence that is over 5,000 miles long that could go between Los Angeles and New York City -- twice.
3 Solutions beyond shredding:
- Our Digital Fileroom™ service allows you to securely store the documents and then convert them to digital formats such as a searchable Adobe pdf file.
- Integrate the digitally converted paper files into your practice management software to allow for sharing and collaboration over a network. This significantly reduces the duplication needed for multiple copies or lost copies being reproduced.
- Keep documents that are born digital in a digital format and integrate them into a system such as Westbrook Fortis for Law offices.
To obtain a green assessment of your law office contact us at 918-664-6164 or e mail email@example.com
Every year we receive about 50 copies of various "yellow pages" type phone directories at our Tulsa records center office and about 30 copies in our document scanning center.
We immediately throw them in our giant paper shredder. We don't want them cluttering the office, we use Google anyway.
I just found out there is now a national opt-out page for phone directories. I opted out immediately. The website is a little slow, but it's great to know we won't be receiving anymore of these phone books. (I also found we were receiving 7 different phone book editions every year.)
Save a tree, save some office space, save some headache and opt-out of getting the phone book.
Click to opt out of the yellow pages.
We are getting one step closer to creating Tulsa's paperless office. Let us know if you opted out.
The centrally located, 96 gallon beast-of-a-shred-container recycle and recycle bin, in offices and other organizations was a great idea to protect your confidential information for many years -- if it's used. Like many security measures developed years ago, they have been updated and perfected. The key to gaining adoption of proper disposal of security sensitive documents (i.e. health records, protected health information and customer identifiable information to name a few) is CONVENIENCE. Employees are often reluctant to interrupt their work, get up and leave their desk to walk several feet to hand carry documents to the proper bin, the documents will often end up in the trash. We have a much better solution!
Introducing the Data Storage, Inc. personal shred container. The container is designed to fit under a desk or counter. It holds 60 pounds of sensitive documents and are securely locked. Pickup and shredding service can be scheduled weekly or on a custom schedule. The shred container can be conveniently placed in cubicles, in offices under desks, or central to adepartment. Insure adoption of document shredding policy by utilizing a Data Storage Shred Bin.
To order your free trial contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or call 918-664-6164