What to Include in Your Information Destruction Plan

Every business has confidential and sensitive information that eventually needs to be destroyed, including:

  • Correspondence
  • Expired contracts and agreements
  • Employment applications
  • Sales proposals and marketing materials
  • Financial statements
  • Tax records
  • Invoices, receipts and bills

A documented information destruction plan ensures your records are destroyed promptly, properly and according to the law. Here are several things to include in your information destruction plan:

Final disposition dates

Document retention periods vary from industry to industry. After confirming your retention obligations with your accountant and attorney, earmark final disposition dates within your information destruction plan to ensure your documents are destroyed promptly at the end of their retention lifecycle. Your document destruction partner can offer a scheduled shredding solution that aligns with the timeframes for the final disposition of your records.

Compliance standards

The Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) is Canada’s federal privacy law that requires all private organizations collecting personal information to dispose of it securely. Similar provincial privacy laws have been enacted in Alberta, British Columbia and Québec. It’s important to make sure your information destruction plan includes standards for complying with PIPEDA as well as any provincial privacy laws applicable to your business.

Employee procedures for discarding records

Lack of employee training is a common cause of negligent document disposal behaviors that increase privacy breach risks. Your staff should be well aware of final disposition dates, as well as federal and provincial privacy laws and the data security regulations of your industry. Make a written plan available to your employees for easy reference. Some organizations include information destruction policies in employee handbooks. At the very least, your policy should include the following:

  • Consequences of improper information disposal
  • Instructions for properly disposing of hard copy, digital data and products and materials containing personal and confidential information
  • Disciplinary measures for failure follow documented disposal procedures

Provide periodic, ongoing training to ensure your information destruction policy is consistently followed.

Disposal verification

Most in-house information destruction programs lack a system that verifies confidential records are destroyed in a prompt and secure manner. As a result, documents can easily end up in a waste or recycling bins without being detected—that is, until a privacy breach occurs.

After the destruction process is complete, professional paper shredding and hard drive and media destruction services offer a Certificate of Destruction confirming the time, date and method of destruction, providing professional verification of secure and prompt disposal.

Professional paper shredding and information destruction service vendors support sound information disposal practices. A qualified shredding and destruction partner can help you design and implement an information destruction plan tailored to your specific business needs and requirements.

Shred Guard provides NAID AAA Certified shredding and destruction services for businesses in Atlantic Canada. To learn more, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Request a Quote

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.