4 Types of Documents You Should Be Shredding
Do you know what documents you should shred? If not, you could expose your customers and employees to identity fraud. In this blog, we identify four categories of documents to shred.
1. Tax Records
Many individuals and businesses hold on to tax records permanently. But the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) allows you to get rid of tax returns and supporting documents after six years. Destroying paper tax records earlier than this may result in criminal prosecution, but you’re not legally required to keep them after six years have passed. When destroying tax records make sure to use a NAID AAA Certified shredding and destruction service. A certified provider will ensure that your tax records are destroyed within a secure chain of custody and will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction.
2. Medical Records
Manitoba’s Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) was enacted in 1997 to ensure individuals’ access to—and protect the privacy of—personal health information maintained by health care providers, government, and local public bodies. PHIA provides individuals with the right to have their personal health information kept private. If your company collects, stores and/or distributes personal health information, be sure to destroy it when it expires.
3. Personal Information
Any personal information collected from your customers should be shredded when it’s no longer needed. Canada’s Personal Information Protection of Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), requires private sector businesses to protect the personal information they collect. The law gives individuals the right to expect an organization to take appropriate security measures to protect their personal information. According to the law, “personal information” includes the following individually-identifiable data:
- Name, age and ID numbers
- Income, ethnic origin and blood type
- Credit, loan and medical records
Individuals may complain to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) if they feel their personal information has been breached. Although The OPC can only offer recommendations, not levy fines or sanctions, to organizations following an investigation. However, individuals may bring a complaint to the Federal Court of Canada where damages may be awarded to the complainant.
4. Non-Essential Paperwork
A document that seems harmless may contain sensitive and confidential information. If in doubt, don’t throw seemingly harmless paperwork away; it could lead to identity theft and business fraud. Always err on the side of caution. At the end of each day, ask yourself: “What paperwork am I required to keep to do my job?” Keep only what’s necessary.
A scheduled shredding service helps you get rid of non-essential paperwork securely. Your shredding and destruction provider places secure collection containers in your office. On a weekly, monthly, quarterly or as-needed schedule, the contents of the collection containers are emptied and shredded by a security screened and trained shredding professional.
Knowing what categories of documents to shred is an important part of your privacy protection strategy.
Phoenix Recycling provides shredding and destruction services to all of Manitoba. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.