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Knowing What to Shred in the Legal Industry

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Personal data and confidential information of your customers, employees and your law firm must be protected. It’s not just good practice. It’s the law.

What to Shred:

Although individual needs may vary, here is a good indication of what to shred in the legal industry:
Legal Documents
  • Client/witness depositions
  • Client financial documents
  • Client credit reports
  • Discovery documents
  • Police reports
  • Demand letters
  • Client contracts
  • Plaintiff statements 
Accounting and Information Technology
  • Customer lists
  • Internal reports
  • Payroll statements
  • Supplier information
Executive Level
  • Budgets
  • Correspondence
  • Legal contracts
  • Strategic reports
  • Financial Statements 
Human Resources
  • Applications
  • Resumes
  • Health and safety issues
  • Medical records
  • Payroll information
  • Performance appraisals
  • Training information and manuals
Procurement
  • Corporate records
  • Supplier purchase orders
  • Supplier records
  • Supplier specifications

Still Confused?

Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer YES to any of the questions, then SHRED the document.

  1. Does it have any personally identifiable information (PII)?
  2. Does it contain information protected by privacy laws?
  3. Does it violate any privacy laws?
  4. Does it share any confidential corporate information?
  5. Does the document list any financial information?

Tips to keep all your data secure

Use the following tips to help keep your data secure and to ensure you don't fall victim of a data breach:

Identify Areas of Risk

Conduct a self-risk assessment and a walk-through of your office to identify areas of risk such as, printing stations, messy desks, and exposed recycling bins. Flag these vulnerabilities and develop policies that can help to remove the risk.

Develop Retention Schedules

All documents have a recommended period of retention depending on their importance. Some may be required to be kept forever, whereas others may be disposed of. Follow document retention schedules to ensure that your office remains clutter free.

Adopt a Shred-it All Policy

It can be confusing when deciding whether or not a document should be shred. By implementing a Shred-it All Policy at your workplace, you ensure that ALL documents are shred - that way, all information remains confidential and it takes the guess work out of what and what not to shred.

Reinforce Policies through Reminders and Rewards

To get buy-in from employees, place posters reminding them of the new policies in place to protect confidential information in the workplace. You can also incentivize good behavior through rewards such as team member recognition.

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