We now rely on and use data in every part of our lives. Text, sound, images and video about each of us is stored by every service we have used, every workplace we have worked at and, increasingly, homes we live in or visit.
Globally, the total volume of data is doubling roughly every two years. Already there is over 1TB (i.e. 1000GB) of data storage for every human on the planet; by 2020, this figure will be more than 5TB. Some are referring to the coming years as the zettabyte era, referring to the total data stored globally; a zettabyte is an astounding 1021 bytes or 1 billion terabytes.
As consumers, we need to be aware of how data on us may be used. As users or managers of others’ data, we need to ensure that any such use is appropriate.
In particular, businesses have legal responsibilities regarding data security for their customers, suppliers and staff. A substantial proportion of company stored data is, directly or indirectly, about people. In addition to obvious data protection measures such as company firewalls and regularly updated user passwords, company policies should also attend to physical security of such data:
- Access to office areas are restricted to those who need to be there.
- If people outside the company visit premises where paper or screen based data may be on display, then any such data should not be left visible while unattended. Even simple measures may go some way towards this end, such as computer screen savers or turning paper records over while not in use or while away from one’s desk.
- When not in direct use, paper based data should be either
- stored in a suitably secure location e.g. a secure or monitored filing cabinet or
- disposed of in a locked bin whose contents are collected for secure destruction*
- Old computers are collected for secure destruction*
* Confidential Shredding Co provides secure, compliant, efficient and hassle-free destruction of all forms of user information:
- Paper records
- Hard disk storage and CDs
- X-rays and other electronic media
We pick up your items slated for destruction, and issue you a Certificate of Destruction upon completion, providing you with auditable evidence of compliance.
There are federally mandated standards for the destruction or de-identification of personal information that may be found here.