How to safely dispose of confidential archived documents

document shredding

It’s shocking how often organizations simply do not take the proper steps to store and dispose of confidential documents as they should.

The stakes are far too high for companies NOT to do so – and we all know how far-ranging the consequences of improper disposal can be.

Additionally, companies are subject to various data protection laws and policies implemented by their respective laws as well as internal and external regulators.

Some of the risks companies face include the threat of legal action, financial penalties, lost customers, or negative publicity.

In spite of this, many organizations still haven’t updated their disposal practices to meet global standards. Waste bins and dumpsters still serve as rich repositories from which unscrupulous actors can steal all sorts of sensitive and confidential private data.

It goes without saying that every business has its own unique requirements for disposal. More and more organizations have been moving towards secure disposal of confidential data on electronic media such as email or IM. Meanwhile, there are still plenty of businesses that require frequent disposal of paper media.

Regardless of what your organization’s disposal requirements are, it is of paramount importance to have a comprehensive and secure disposal and retention process that prevents and greatly limits the damage that breaches of privacy can bring.

We’ll show you what steps are available as to how to safely dispose of confidential and proprietary information stored on physical documents.

Confidential Waste Disposal Bins

There’s hardly any business that doesn’t work with confidential client information on a regular basis. From confidential personally identifiable information (PII) such as customer names, credit card details, social security numbers, and health records, to restricted corporate information such as trade secrets or proprietary technologies, the list is endless.

A confidential waste disposal bin with the requisite locks, slots, and deflector plates is your friend – paired with a paper shredder, you will greatly reduce the likelihood that some audacious actor would be able to fish out sensitive information diving through your company’s dumpster.

Paper Shredders

Paper shredders are mainstays in offices for a good reason: they play a key role in protecting the privacy of individual and corporate clients that you deal with in business. Therefore, employees must be directed to use such shredders when disposing information according to policy. The first line of security when it comes to handling confidential information are your employees – this must be made abundantly known to them.

Onsite Disposal Service Providers

There are plenty of onsite paper shredding and disposal service providers you can hire if you prefer to outsource the job of destroying sensitive data on physical documents. After all, every business has its unique disposal needs.

Such service providers offer the flexibility and convenience of being able to offer such a service on demand, while putting your mind at ease. Make sure to choose a service provider that has the requisite qualifications to handle YOUR organization’s confidential information: one that will securely destroy documents according to data privacy regulations as well as one that has the credentials to do so.

Remember: anyone can sift through your old documents as soon as it leaves your custody.

Document Storage Solutions

There are companies that specialize in archiving and storing your data to make sure that your confidential information remains secure. Many of these companies are also reputed for offering paper shredding services alongside their existing storage solutions. Thus, they should definitely be considered by companies that don’t necessarily have the facilities, know-how, physical space, or overhead to do so themselves.

As companies have their own particular set of requirements as far as storage and disposal go, a bespoke, tailored approach from a reputable storage service provider can go a long way to preventing a company’s information assets from falling into the wrong hands.


No reputable business should ever be lax about protecting their information assets as well as client information. Thus, every organization, large or small, should practice secure disposal and storage of their information assets regardless of their medium – not doing so can lead to a whole slew of financial, regulatory, and reputational risks few businesses are capable of handling.

While more and more businesses are now aware of how important the security of their technology infrastructure is, not many businesses take the physical security of their documents seriously. Make sure your organization isn’t one of them – investing in secure disposal will go a long way to protecting not just your clients and your proprietary data, but also your brand and your reputation for guaranteeing the safety of your information assets.