Taking Control of Your Files

Did you pass the quiz? If you answered “yes” to all six quiz questions, then you’re in total control of your files, your business, and your risk exposure. Well done—keep it up!

Fewer than six “yes” answers? Then it’s time to review your records management practices. Whether they need a few tweaks or a total makeover, you’ll be in greater control—while helping your company become efficient and compliant.

Haven’t taken the quiz yet? Click here to find out if you’re in control of your files.

You may think, “We keep our files locked up on-site or in a public storage space. I know where they are and I can get to them anytime. I’m in control.” But just because you have control doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in control. Imagine owning a private jet plane—you would have control of an awesome ride. But that doesn’t automatically make you an awesome pilot. For that, you need to be in control, with the skills to safely lift, fly, and land the plane. Having control of your company’s records management means it’s your responsibility—it’s in your job description. Being in control means you’re doing everything to assure regulatory compliance, data security, disaster recovery, and ready document access. Follow these records management practices so that you can be in total control of your files.

1. Are we fully protected from data breaches?

Just this February, Anthem, the second-largest U.S. health insurer, announced the theft of data for 80 million current and former customers. Even if you’re not as big as Anthem (or Home Depot, or Target, or TJX, or Sony), your company’s sensitive information is always vulnerable (imagine a medical office worker leaving a confidential patient record in the photocopier). Learn more about data breaches »

2. Do we have a disaster recovery plan?

A “disaster” is any event that destroys files, whether in hard copy or on data storage media. For your business, that can mean downtime or worse. Are your records backed up so that you can continue to serve your customers? Pay your employees? Stay in business? Learn more about disaster recovery »

3. Can we quickly access stored files when we need them?

Effective records management balances secure document storage with ready document access. The practice of active filing helps to strike that balance by making stored files available on demand, while tracking each file’s “chain of custody.” Active filing not only helps you be more time, space, and cost-efficient, it can help you in the event of litigation, when you need to retrieve vital documents quickly. Learn more about storing files »

4. Are we holding on to any files longer than we should?

Files that have outlived their life cycle take up space and put your company at risk. When you manage documents according to a retention schedule, you reduce your risk by destroying sensitive information you no longer need. Learn more about records retention »

5. Do we have understandable records management policies and procedures?

“No gray areas” is the idea behind record management policy and procedures by promoting accountability across your organization. Records retention is a vivid example: Employees either follow the policies and procedures or they put the business at risk. Follow these retention guidelines »

6. Is every employee trained and clear on their role in records management and document security?

Everyone has a role in document security. That role can be as simple as asking, “Hey, who left these payroll papers in the fax machine?” With a “Shred Everything” policy, you can directly involve all your employees in effective records management. Learn about a shred everything policy »