Everyone knows how important it is to properly handle sensitive information entrusted to your company by customers, employees, and clients or patients. It is vital to properly dispose of all confidential files, records, documents, and media, using a data destruction company that follows strict policies and procedures.
Without the proper safeguards, information (customer lists, price lists, sales statistics, drafts of bids and correspondence, memos) ends up in the dumpster where it is readily, and legally, available to anybody. The trash is considered by business espionage professionals as the single most available source of competitive and private information from the average business. Any establishment that discards private and proprietary data without the benefit of destruction, exposes itself to the risk of criminal and civil prosecution, as well as the costly loss of business.
Recycling is not an adequate alternative for information destruction. There is no fiduciary responsibility inherent in the recycling scenario. Paper is given away or sold, and companies forfeit the right to say how the paper is handled. Since there is no practical means of establishing the exact date that a record is destroyed, a company will struggle to defend against negligence if audited to sued.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires all businesses to protect the personal information of MA residents. Shredding documents is one way to stay compliant. Read more about the regulations: 201 CMR 17.00: Standards for the Protection of Personal Information of Residents of the Commonwealth (PDF)