Document Management: When to Shred

document management - Complete Controller

One of the most controversial topics in the business and management field is document management. In almost all industries, relevant confidential documents are created. Contemporary companies have realized that effective document management is needed. Using computer recycle bins is not how to handle essential documents. Instead, managers and employees must properly dispose of these documents. From an ethical point of view, critical documents must be deleted securely so that any third party cannot use it for personal gains or for haring others. However, permanently destroying data is an unusual topic, and many people are not aware of it. Bookkeeping data is among the most confidential and critical data of a business that needs to be shredded after its use so that it could not be recovered by rivals, customers, and even employees.  Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Moving office documents into recycling bins poses considerable risk of a security violation. Intruders are always looking for unprotected data characterized by personally identifiable information such as names, addresses, and id’s, and social security numbers. Here are some useful ways that can ensure the safe disposal of essential documents.

Delete file – not enough

Regular readers of our site already know that simply deleting a file is entirely inadequate in terms of information security. The deleted files (with rare exceptions in the form of SSD-drives) can be restored within just a few minutes. This restoration is because when you delete a file, Windows does not destroy its contents but makes a note in the file system that the data is removed, and the disk space it occupies is free.  Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Formatting a Disk

The very existence of tools like Hetman Partition Recovery is a good indicator that formatted partitions are not a guarantee of data security. In fact, except all the same SSD disks, formatting the partition in “fast” mode (and in old versions of Windows – and formatting in “full” mode) does not erase the data, but merely updates the file system. Accordingly, the data after such formatting can be restored.

However, full formatting of the disk with Windows Vista and Windows 7 will overwrite the contents of the drive with zeros, and format by any means an SSD with a significant (but not 100%) probability will also lead to the destruction of data.

Data destruction programs

There is a whole class of programs management designed for the reliable and safe destruction of information. Such programs use arrays of random numbers to physically overwrite the disk space occupied by the file being destroyed. Some security standards (for example, the standard used in the US Army) require several rewriting cycles and insist on using cryptographically stable random number generators. In practice, it’s more like shooting a cannon at sparrows. For private users and most commercial organizations, a single rewriting cycle is enough.

To find such a program is simple – just run a search for the keywords’ reliable deletion of files’. Similarly, the free space on the disk is mashed – even programs often use the same ones.

These methods work only with traditional magnetic drives, in which unambiguous addressing of the physical space on the disk is possible. In the case of SSD disks, this is not the case, and destroying the information on them is a separate and rather inadequate topic. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Destruction of data on CD and DVD

When getting rid of old backups, do not forget to destroy the data. The easiest way to suppress information on a CD or DVD is to destroy the media physically. Do not be tempted to break the “dummy” with your hands – you will most likely cut the shreds, and small pieces of plastic and aluminum substrate will meet for a long time in the most unexpected places.

To destroy disks, it’s easiest to use an office shredder equipped with a CD and DVD receiver. Besides them, there are specialized devices that are not as expensive as one might think. For most purposes, it is reasonable to cut the disc into four strips.

Some devices make the discs unusable by drilling a few holes in them (by the way, you can also create holes in the disk yourself with a conventional drill). Experts consider this method of management less reliable than using a shredder.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers