Establish a Chain of Custody for Secure Shredding

Tori McClurg

You know it’s important to shred your sensitive documents, but did you know that chain of custody is an essential part of secure shredding? If you have a shredding plan that doesn’t involve a chain of custody, your process is incomplete and may put your information at risk. You wouldn’t drive your car without wheels, and you shouldn’t implement a shredding process that doesn’t have a chain of custody. What does an effective chain-of-custody plan look like?

In the shredding industry, chain of custody is a transparent and organized way for you to identify where your documents are at all times. From the moment your sensitive information leaves your office, you should know its status at each stage of the process. When partnering with a third-party provider, you should choose an organization that follows destruction industry best practices. What else should your secure shredding policy entail?

  • Complete destruction of business documents and records. Your important documents and sensitive information should be sorted into those you need and those that can be destroyed. Once they’re organized and identified, ensure the destruction process is thorough and effective.
  • Reliable and consistent services. Your secure shredding policy needs an all-encompassing approach to security. This approach involves everything from trusted and well-trained employees to unmatched security and safety for your information. It should also be adapted to the needs of your business.
  • Accountability with a secure chain of custody. Certain laws and regulations identify a number of security standards that organizations need to follow. Establishing a secure chain of custody helps organizations prove compliance. It also locates your documents at all times, preventing loss or damage along the way.

What are the other components of a secure chain of custody? A bar code tracking system tracks each touch point during your document’s life cycle. All collected material should follow the standard workflow. Additionally, GPS-tracked trucks monitor real-time locations of the documents. Another important component of the chain of custody is the certificate of destruction. It provides proof that the destruction process is complete.

As you can see, secure shredding has a lot of moving parts. Unless your documents are organized, tracked and destroyed in a secure process, your information is at risk. Before you choose a third-party partner, you should ensure they follow all of these guidelines. Your information deserves to be protected.

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