Dealing with confidential information is something that most people will have to do in virtually any line of work, or even in personal life. Some companies have strict policies in place for handling sensitive information and for confidential data destruction. When it comes to disposing of confidential information, you may be concerned about identity theft or having the information slip into the wrong hands. Here are some important points to keep in mind when it comes time to purge old information.
The most effective way to dispose of confidential documents is to get a shredder. You may have heard stories of people rummaging through garbage cans and piecing together shredded documents; however, there are many shredders on the market now that would make reconstruction of the shredded documents very difficult.
If you don’t have access to a shredder or you have large volumes of documents to shred, you may consider contracting a shredding service. These companies usually provide some sort of locked bin in which you can put all of your sensitive documents. They then come to pick up the bins and shred the documents off site.
You may simply use a thick black marker to cross out any sensitive information. Similar to this technique, you may use scissors or a hole punch to actually remove the sensitive information from the unwanted documents.
If you have a safe place to have a fire, you may consider gathering all of the sensitive documents and burning them.
If you have only a few documents to destroy and don’t have a shredder, you may consider using water. You would need to tear up the documents as much as possible, place them into a plastic bag and fill it with water. Be sure to give the bag a good shake to disturb the contents. You should end up with a wet blob of paper scraps that is impossible to take apart and read.
Choose wisely when deciding how best to dispose of confidential information. Don’t be the reason someone’s identity gets stolen.