A common problem faced by both businesses and individuals who use computers or even mobile devices extensively is the lack of balance between their ability to create data and their ability to securely dispose of that data. Nowhere is this more acute than in the world of sensitive documents like financial information or individual medical data.

The Technical Issue
By and large, data is stored on devices designed to retain it. Paper can last thousands of years. Computer disks are very difficult to completely erase without specialized knowledge and equipment. Even a cheap flash drive can be tricky unless its owner has some experience with the arcane details of the underlying technology. The practical effect of this is very often data isn't often really "erased." It can be obscured and damaged, but more often than not, some or all of it can be recovered by a sufficiently motivated person.

Medical Documents
A perfect example of both the technical problems and the potential dangers involved is medical documentation. In the wrong hands, medical data and its associated financial data can be a dangerous combination. That is why there are so many laws in place to protect it. For the average person, hiring a commercial document shredding service is likely the best option. Professionals, like those at Vital Records Control, practice strict procedures that maintain security and privacy. Making sure important documents are disposed of properly is paramount. For one thing, those companies have the equipment and the know-how to get the job done right. Secondly, and arguably more importantly, they have a vested interest in success, because failure to do their job can have expensive ramifications beyond the cost of the service they provide.

A Matter of Policy
Everyone who creates data in printed or electronic form should consider establishing a policy on how to protect that data and to dispose of it securely. The costs of allowing important information out in the open in the 21st century are simply too great to ignore this important issue. The good news is the services available to make sure your data remains secure are both relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

Paper documents can now be shredded on-site at a rate that matches even the largest office's capacity to produce them. Most major services can send a truck similar to a standard neighborhood garbage truck anywhere in their service area, collect all the disposed documents in one place and carry the shredded materials away in a matter of hours or sometimes minutes. With such a convenient and effective service so close by, it doesn't make sense to take risks with sensitive data.

Author's Bio: 

Bio: Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber