A recent poll by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that two-thirds of Canadians are concerned about their privacy. The same poll found that 57% of Canadians rarely or never share their information with organizations—strong evidence that there is considerable distrust about how businesses handle the personal data of consumers. It’s not surprising given the scale of recent high profile privacy breaches; the Target data breach being a prime example. In the face of such incidents, it would seem that gaining client trust is more difficult than ever. But there’s also a world of opportunity for those businesses that take the time to implement strong systems that minimize privacy breaches risks within their organizations.
You’re storing documents, but are they really secure?
Having client documents on-premises may seem like a safe solution, but it’s not entirely secure. Storing your retention inventory onsite comes with risk. In theory, you should be able to monitor who retrieves documents, and when, but rarely do organizations have a system for monitoring the access and retrieval of paper files. Convenience trumps security, making it easy for confidential information to go missing.
Unauthorized access to documents and files doesn’t only come from outside sources. Insider theft is just as much of a threat as someone breaking into your offices. It can also be much harder to detect as there is no visible forced entry to your facility. An individual can open a file cabinet and take the information at will. Third parties such as maintenance crews, security personnel, and cleaning staff may also have after-hours access to your office exposing sensitive client information to theft. It only takes one confidential document left on a desktop to expose your business to a multitude of privacy breach consequences.
Other offsite solutions, such as storing paper records in self storage unit, also do not adequately protect client privacy. These facilities promote a business model built on 24-hour convenience and can lack both comprehensive security systems as well as onsite staff. Too often, the only item preventing unauthorized access to your unit is a padlock. Privacy breach risks run high at self storage units. Storing paper records offsite in a commercial records centre minimizes security risks to private information and provides an audit trail of document access and retrieval by offering:
- barcode tracking technology
- fire detection and protection
- controlled and regulated access
- video surveillance
How secure is that document shredding machine?
Many companies utilize paper shredding equipment for the disposal of paper documents containing personal information belonging to clients and employees. Because these machines are labor-intensive, employees may forgo their use. Lazily tossing documents into waste bins, while not a secure disposal practice, takes less time than feeding sheets of paper through a shredding machine. As a result, confidential files often end up in the trash. Offering a convenient and time-saving method for disposing of sensitive information reduces privacy breach risks for your business. A professional paper shredding service utilizes shred collection containers that are placed within your office to facilitate convenient and timely disposal of documents. Entire files can be placed within a container without removing staples, paper clips, rubber bands, etc., enabling greater overall productivity.
Privacy protection is good business
The systems you implement for the storage and disposal of confidential information go a long way to ensure your customers that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect their personal data. As more businesses avail themselves of professional records and information solutions, consumer confidence in how organizations handle their information will increase.
Docu-Dépôt provides records and information and management solutions to businesses throughout Montréal and Québec. To find out more, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on this page.
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