What is a Certificate of Destruction and Why Do I Need One?

Confused woman thinking about answers to her questions is standing in front of a chalkboard background with hand-drawn question marks.In today’s world, where information is the cornerstone of business operations, safeguarding sensitive data has become paramount. Those who meticulously maintain detailed records are better positioned to navigate challenges and demonstrate their commitment to due diligence. Proper documentation not only prepares you for unforeseen circumstances but also earns you respect in the realm of information management.

Creating a Paper Trail

As required by data privacy laws, businesses are obligated not only to protect the information they collect but also to maintain a secure chain of custody from inception to destruction. As information reaches the end of its lifecycle, secure destruction becomes crucial. A Certificate of Destruction emerges as a powerful tool to safeguard against potential leaks or misuse of sensitive information.

The Certificate

As confidential information concludes its lifecycle and faces destruction, a Certificate of Destruction becomes a vital document, providing tangible proof of the event. This certificate includes:

  • An official statement confirming destruction of the documents
  • The name and address of the shredding company
  • Date and time when destruction took place
  • The destruction method used
  • The identity of the private information
  • Signatures authenticating and authorizing the certificate

Who Can Provide a Certificate of Destruction?

While you have the option to destroy your own materials, self-destruction won’t provide the necessary Certificate of Destruction. Engaging the services of a reputable and compliant shredding company is crucial. Such a company can furnish you with an authorized certificate, signifying the transfer of responsibility for information protection and compliance with state and federal privacy laws.

When Is a Certificate of Destruction Important?

Any data that identifies your staff, clients or patients, or your business must be protected and appropriately destroyed at the end of its retention period. This includes:

  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Protected Health Information (PHI)
  • Financial data
  • Corporate trade secrets
  • Any PII present on receipts, invoices, shipping labels, travel documents, passport information or other documents

To ensure comprehensive coverage, adopting a “shred everything” policy eliminates the need to make subjective decisions about what to destroy and what to retain, minimizing the risk of oversight.

ShredLink provides a Certificate of Destruction for every completed shredding job. Our document destruction services comply with all state and federal laws, offering you peace of mind. To schedule recurring scheduled shredding or one-time shredding services, simply give us a call at 504-885-0186 or complete the form on this page.

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