April 29, 2021

The Importance of Record Management

The Importance of Record Management

To shred, or not to shred? That is the question – for good reason. Knowing exactly what documents to keep or destroy is the all-important key to business record management. But even still, it continues to be an everyday challenge for organisations of all shapes and sizes and can add complications to the protection of any sensitive data you hold.

Especially when we consider the recent announcement of stiffer penalties for data breaches1 as parliament passed changes to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), not forgetting the often more harmful reputational damage that tends to follow the announcement of a data breach.

To ensure your business avoids being another statistic or headline at the hands of the PDPC, below we’ll explore some of rules and regulations surrounding record management and record management systems. Combined with a look at the confidential information you should aim to shred immediately, to protect your customers, employees and company with the support of Shred-it.

How Long Should You Keep Business Documents in Singapore?

Part and parcel of knowing what to shred requires an understanding of business record keeping requirements in Singapore. But many organisations are unsure exactly how long they should keep hold of certain documents, such as tax records.

In response to this specific question, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)2 states that you need to keep most records for five years from the relevant Year of Assessment (YA). But once the allotted time has passed, secure document destruction is recommended to ensure old business records never fall into the wrong hands.

This is where it pays to work with a partner like Shred-it, who prides itself on its world-class paper shredding services and secure chain of custody. And below is a look at some of the other documents you should seek to destroy once they’re no longer needed, to protect your business and reduce the risk of a data breach.

Business Documents You Should Shred

1. Old Invoices
Invoices are an important part of every business; it’s how we get paid after all. But leaving old invoices lying around or disposing of them insecurely is a data breach waiting to happen. How would you explain to a client that your failure to shred an invoice has led to their confidential information being stolen?

2. Bank & Credit Card Statements
Bank or credit card details and statements might seem like a straightforward one, but you’d be surprised at the amount of times this sort if information finds itself in the rubbish. So, don’t take the risk, opt for paperless online statements where possible or securely shred these documents as soon as they’re done with.

3. CVs
CVs are less obvious, but when you think about it, the name, phone number, address and email address are a golden ticket for data thieves, all contained within one convenient piece of paper. Once you’ve interviewed a candidate and are done with their CV, ensure the document is securely disposed of immediately.

4. Old Pay Slips
Discarding of old payslips in unsecure rubbish bins – in the office or at home – could see your address, bank account number and other personal information falling into the hands of bad actors. So, why take the risk? Securely shred payslips as soon as you have safely recorded any information you require.

5. Photo Identification
Documents that contain photo identification, such as old identity cards, can gift data thieves a ready-made template to start assuming your digital identity. Our specialty shredding services can help with the secure destruction of such items, but don’t leave it to chance and wait until it’s too late – destroy these items the minute they’re no longer needed.

Protect Your Business with Shred-it Singapore

If you’re ever unsure of the importance of record management, or the rules and regulations surrounding this, it’s always worth checking in with official bodies such as the PDPC or IRAS. But our committed team will always be happy to answer your enquiries and assist you in any way possible.
For other sensitive documents, such as those listed above, there’s only one way to make sure confidential documents don’t end up in the wrong hands – and that’s to destroy them. By introducing a Shred-it All Policy, this can greatly reduce the risk of human error in the handling of sensitive information.
Get in touch today for a no-obligation quote, or to learn more about the ways we can protect and serve the exact needs of your business.
1 Stiffer penalties for data breaches
2 Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)