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End of year is for many companies’ time to clear out old confidential documents, an important time to use a secure shredding service.

How Long do you store?

For many companies the end of the Financal year is the time to clear out old confidential documents, but how long should you keep the documents for anything relating to finance needs to kept for 7 years, many law, NHS Trusts, solicitors, Financal advisers and estate agents may keep hard copies for many more years. In relation to GDPR any personally identifiable data must only be kept as long as necessary.

With space at a premium how do you plan appropriately.

Organising your data storage.

Documents can be scanned and stored this is a good way to retain data, while freeing up valuable space. You must ensure that the digital location of the file is secure on a server and backed up in a secondary location like cloud storage.

All the paper data files you have scanned need to be confidentially destroyed.

GDPR and Documents

Transparency is a key consideration with everyone you hold data on. A policy outlining how customer data will be retained, controlled and used by your organisation needs to be in place. It depends on whether the data will be required again, to how long it should be retained, some agreements could be required years in the future but other information only short term. When documents are deemed to be required in the futer scanning the documents and storing them digitally is a good way of archiving them and retrieving them at a later data, it’s a good idea to ensure your filling system is fully searchable. It’s always useful to have a document management system and filling plan in place so older documents can be archived and stored accordingly. filling them with the original being securely shredded is a sound solution while short term data can be securely destroyed at the earliest convenience. Once you have this in place arrange for a Secure Document destruction company to collect your redundant paper files and securely dispose of them.

Emails can easily be overlooked

Emails are very often printed and filed, put a policy in place were emails are electronically filed. Archiving files are available on systems such as Microsoft outlook, although it is good practice to personally purge your own in box, remove attachments and delete unneeded , redundant and duplicated emails. Doing this regularly will cut down the risk of a data breach, free up space and make the email system more efficient to navigate.

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