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Safely Storing Records Before Shredding

Sometimes you come across some records during the course of your business that you need to hold on to. Conventional wisdom suggests that you should shred documents immediately, but in some cases that isn’t practical. Certain medical records, financial statements, contact information, etc, are all types of documents you might need to hold onto. Doing so requires care, lest you run afoul of compliance regulations by being careless.

a woman sifting through a filing cabinet

Whether you are a professional business with a big fancy office with a large list of employees, or a humble small business owner working out of your home, the same considerations will apply. Selecting a secure location to store records is the order of businesses here, as well as good old fashioned common sense. We’ll look at some of the most common places most businesses, be they large or small, could have access to.

Common Safe Record Storage Options

Lockable Desk Drawer / File Cabinet

The least secure option on the list, these also typically tend to be the most common, especially for the smaller businesses. Depending on the budget you had when you bought these, the locking mechanism will vary from ridiculously simple to a more complex lock. Making good use of the drawers instead of keeping papers piled on your desk is both secure and organized.

It’s not exactly easy to hide these ones, the desk especially would be a challenge, making them very obvious as the location for your files. If it’s all you have then you will have to make due as best you can, unless of course you are inclined to get something better.

A Good Safe

This is likely the most secure option you can get. A good stout safe, that’s preferably kept out of sight so it’s out of mind, will do a good job keeping your records protected. Their locks are more complex than what you’d find in a drawer, and their secure construction makes circumventing then lock itself unlikely. For extra protection, you could seek out a safe that is fire resistant so it will still offer protection to what’s inside should a disaster occur. While the price might be an issue for some, it is better to invest in good equipment that will last over poor equipment that could be compromised.

Safety Deposit Box / Off-Site Storage

Perhaps you have a feeling that storing records off site somewhere is the best option for you. In that case a safety deposit box is probably the first option many working from home will consider. While this is a good option, if you have more then a few items you may run into problems of organization and space as well. A better option would be to contact a record storage company, one that is dedicated to properly protecting documents. They use organizational procedures to ensure you can always find what you need, offer great security, and disaster protection.

There are many options you could pursue, some are far better then others, but whatever you choose you need to make sure it complies with the regulations. We can help you with that sort of thing, giving you peace of mind. It’s best not to take any chances with private information.