Destroying data is important. Aside from easing storage pressure, regularly destroying obsolete information reduces the risk of a breach. Also, when it comes to personal data, the law obliges you to destroy information in many circumstances.
It should be a simple process. However, old information can be like a bad penny, popping up on your system or in hard copy when you least expect it. Here are three things many people miss when destroying data.
3 Things You Might Miss Destroying Data
Notebooks and Call Logs
People record information – including personal data – all the time. They take notes at meetings, or of phonecalls, without even thinking about it. And often, they don’t think of these notes when they’re destroying data. Why not see for yourself? Pick up a nearby notepad or notebook of yours – the older the better. Now, flick through it. Do you see information that you no longer need? Or even personal data? Most people keep obsolete or sensitive information in notes that they’d destroy if they even thought to do so. So encourage staff to dispose of notes once they’ve served their useful purpose.
Copies of Project Files
In a similar vein, most projects in your organisation probably involve multiple people. Those individuals will all have accessed soft or hard copy files. Many of those files include personal or sensitive information. When you’re destroying data after completion of a project – or after its retention period has passed – are you just getting rid of the ‘master’ file? Or are you getting staff that worked on the project to do so as well? It only takes a quick email to the staff members, and a minute for them to delete or put documents in the shredder. That small time investment could save you from a data breach, or even avoidably breaching the Data Protection Acts.
In the modern world, many organisations issue mobile devices for key staff to do work while out of the office. Sometimes it just can’t be avoided. However, it’s rare for those mobile devices to be completely ‘synced up’ with your work file storage network. This means that, when you delete digital data from your server, it won’t delete it from your staff storage devices. To prevent problems, apply clear policies regarding the use of those devices – particularly in transit – and ensure that your IT team regularly ‘clean them down’.
Find out More About Destroying Data
Not all shredding is effective – see how we do it for maximum security.
Know when you should automatically destroy information.