Spring is a great time to get your office space cleaned up and ready for the rest of the year. Doing some housekeeping in the office is also a great way to ensure that your sensitive documents are organized, secure and dealt with accordingly.
In a very unorganized space it’s hard to know where to start the clean-up process. For physical documents, start by organizing files according to whether you’ll be keeping them or not.
File away last year’s documents and reuse everything: folders, binders, bins and more can be reused annually. Anything that cannot be reused, recycle or donate.
If you have limited space, consider scanning some documents and storing them digitally. With any sensitive documents that you no longer need, be sure to have them shredded to protect you and your clients’ data. Federal and state regulations require that all businesses and organizations “properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of information in connection with its disposal.” Reasonable measures, as defined by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, are considered “burning, pulverizing or shredding of papers…or entering into a contract with another party engaged in the business of record destruction to disposed of material.” There are additional laws that apply specifically to the medical and financial professions. Learn more about secure shredding on our website.
For digital files, start by organizing by year. Go through past documents and see what you no longer need, or if you’re not sure, put those files on an external hard drive to free up some space. Be sure to keep any sensitive data organized and keep track of those who have access to sensitive documents. Have professionals securely destroy any unneeded digital data, and remember, if you’re disposing of non-paper storage media, such as hard drives, cd’s, flash drives, etc., be sure those devices are sanitized or physically destroyedt. These devices can contain far more data than paper records. To learn more about creating your own data security policy, download our free data security checklist.
Office Recycling Program
The New Year is also a great time to start an office recycling program if you don’t already have one. Companies who have office recycling programs show that they care about sustainability and corporate responsibility. Learn more about developing your own policy by downloading our free office recycling checklist.