Is Your Law Firm Managing its Information Securely?
June 26, 2019
All businesses and industry backgrounds have a legal obligation to take control over the status of their information. What does this mean exactly? Business owners are legally mandated to protect sensitive information pertaining to the personal details of another company or individual. documents. With that said, if you work in the legal sector, you need to be even more cautious with this practice because of the amount of classified information that’s being dealt with on a regular routine.
Of course, most law firms are aware of this legal responsibility and how important it is to continuously collect, store, and dispose of archived cases, client files, financial documents, so that information remains entirely secure. If it hasn’t been made clear in the various federal legislation that outlines the regulations and penalties for information management breaches (such as FACTA and HIPAA), then it’s obvious in the sheer number of documents that lawyers reference each day. From wills to private business and estate agreements, law offices across the United States rely tremendously on legal documents to effectively perform the demands of their job as a lawyer.
Confidentiality is imperative in the legal world. With that in mind, many legal offices across the country opt to outsource their document shredding and/or storage requirements for the added peace of mind that comes with trusted and secure, shredding services. Determining how best to use these services means a bit of planning and implementation of an information management and protection policy, tailored to your law firm’s needs. This plan outlines where staff can locate information, how confidential documents need to be handled, and whether a document needs to be stored or securely shred.
We’ve developed thorough knowledge and experience working in the industry for so long, and as a result, want to share some insight on how to implement specific document management policies. Here are some suggestions that your law firm can consider:
- Assign a Team to Spearhead the Policy. Choose a group of employees who will be responsible for overseeing how the policy is introduced, communicated, and implemented in the workplace. Ideally, this group should consist of employees across the workplace to enhance internal control as much as possible.
- Understand any Applicable Laws: It is important to stay on top of legislation and any regulations that apply specifically to your law firm. Educate your employees and update them on any changes so that everyone is on the same page and there are no issues. What documents need to be stored and how long do they require storage? Which needs to be securely shredded? Knowing the difference and separating these files is vital to stay compliant and organized.
- Think About Your Current Workplace: Does your firm have secure storage available or are you taking advantage of an off-site document storage facility to maintain critical files until you need access? How are you determining what files require shredding and when? What are your accessibility needs in relation to file retrieval? These are all questions you should be keeping in mind when speaking to a professional document shredding service.
- Always Communicate the Policy Clearly: A policy can only be effective if it is received and communicated properly which makes this point such an important one. Confirming that your staff not only understands the policy but also why adherence needs to be a top priority, is the only approach to ensuring overall effectiveness. Approach it with clear and simple language to reduce confusion and always ask if there are any concerns or questions regarding the policy. Feedback should be encouraged and welcomed!
Successful law firms hire a reputable and reliable document shredding company to assist them with their document management processes. The Shred Truck provides handy, mobile shredding services that can be carried out on a regular basis for the most efficient service. Our approach guarantees your total confidentiality from the moment we collect your files, through until the destruction process. A busy law firm generates and shares new documents daily – our document shredding services will help keep your law firm compliant, secure, and on top of its document disposal habits.