Secure Document Destruction

When disposing of paper documents that contain sensitive information, it is best to ensure that they are securely destroyed by shredding. When storing and transporting documents to be shredded, there are some important steps you can take to ensure that none of the documents are misplaced or disposed of incorrectly. See for information related to past shred days.

Determining What Needs to Be Securely Destroyed

Documents that contain any of the following sensitive information should be shredded securely and not recycled or thrown in the garbage. See for more information.

1) Student records, including anything protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
2) Health information, including anything covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
3) Personal financial information such as credit card numbers, bank account information, debit card numbers, etc.
4) Job applicant records (names, transcripts, etc.)
5) Social Security Numbers
6) Dates of birth
7) Private home addresses and phone numbers
8) Driver license numbers and State ID Card numbers
9) Access codes, passwords and PINs for online information systems
10) Answers to "security questions" such as "what is the name of your favorite pet?"
11) Confidential information subject to attorney-client privilege
12) Detailed information about security systems (physical and/or network)
13) Confidential salary information
14) Information made confidential by a collective bargaining agreement

Storing Sensitive Documents for Shredding

When you determine that you have a document that needs to be securely shredded, it is best to do so immediately. If you do not have that option or must store the documents for a period of time until they are shredded, there are precautions you can take to ensure the information is kept secure.

1) Store the documents in a location away from trash or recycling so it is not confused with material that can be placed in the garbage or recycling container.

2) Secure the box or container that the documents are held in. Make sure it cannot be easily removed and is locked.

3) Ensure that the chosen storage location is secure with locked doors and monitored access if possible.


Transporting and Shredding of Sensitive Documents

If your shredder or shredding service is not located in the same location as where the documents are stored, it is important that the documents are transported securely to ensure no boxes get misplaced or lost along the way.

Before shredding any documents:

1) Depending on your shredder type, make sure no items that are not allowed are mixed in with the paper. This can include, but is not limited to:

  • Metal, Clamps
  • CD’s, Floppy Disc
  • Cassette Tapes
  • Rubber Bands
  • Binders
  • Microfilm/X-Rays
  • Plastic Items 

2) For added security it is recommended to use a cross cut shredder that shreds the document into very small pieces.

3) For an extra level of security, you can put the shredded pieces into separate bags.

Electronic Files with Sensitive Information

For information on securely deleting electronic information containing sensitive information see


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Article ID: 1470
Created: Wed, 17 Apr 2013 2:03pm
Modified: Mon, 06 May 2013 12:59pm