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Blog header image for Guide to Personal Identifying Information (PII)

4 Guidelines to Personal Identifying Information

Proper PII data destruction for your business

In today’s digital world, personal identifiable information (PII) is one of the most valuable types of data a business can have. It’s also one of the most sensitive and needs to be treated with care. As such, proper PII data destruction is essential for any organization that collects and stores this type of information.

What is considered PII data?

Personal Identifying Information (PII) is any information that can be used to identify an individual. This includes information such as: 

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Bank account information 
  • Biometrics Data (Fingerprints and Racial recognition Data)
  • Financial Data (Bank or Purchase Information)
  • Web Data

As data breaches and other security threats become increasingly prevalent, data safety is an issue of utmost importance for businesses. Companies must take a proactive approach to data security measures by providing data destruction services in addition to encryption services. 

These data destruction services involve securely erasing data from devices once they’ve reached the end of their lifecycle to protect personal identifying information (PII) from potential exposure. With the right data destruction practices in place, companies have peace of mind knowing that their customers’ data is safe while still enabling individuals to access the data when needed. 

Companies must ensure that they are using effective data destruction methods so that PII data remains secure.

How do you destroy PII?

Proper PII data destruction involves the use of secure methods for erasing and disposing of sensitive information. This includes both physical media, such as hard drives or paper documents, as well as digital media, such as emails or files stored in the cloud. The goal is to make sure that all traces of the information are completely destroyed in order to prevent unauthorized access or misuse.  

Why Proper Data Destruction is Important 

The reason why proper PII data destruction is so important is because it helps protect organizations from potential legal liability and reputational damage if their sensitive information gets into the wrong hands. 

Organizations that fail to properly destroy their PII data could be subject to fines, penalties, and other forms of punishment if they are found to be negligent in this regard. Additionally, improper disposal of sensitive information could lead to identity theft or other security breaches, which could further damage an organization’s reputation. 

PII Data Destruction Benefits

By utilizing data destruction services and technology, organizations can take quick steps to protect confidential information from falling into the wrong hands. This not only helps reduce storage costs but satisfies compliance regulations with regards to privacy of each user’s personally identifiable information (PII). 

Data destruction also reinforces a company’s commitment to secure sensitive data – preventing any former users without valid authorization from accessing their PII.

Methods of PII Data Destruction 

  • Physical Destruction: Securing your organization’s PII data is key – and physical destruction should be part of the equation. From shredding paper documents, to destroying digital devices and backup media, it takes a thorough approach in an environment where no one can access these materials without authorization for ultimate protection. 
  • Hard Drive Destruction: For organizations handling sensitive data, hard drive destruction is a critical step in the secure disposal of personally identifiable information (PII). By physically damaging drives beyond repair and retrieval, this process ensures any stored confidential details remain inaccessible. 
  • Digital Destruction: Protecting customers’ personal data is of utmost importance, and digital destruction offers an effective solution. By utilizing specialized software to overwrite existing files with random code strings, businesses can securely eliminate PII from their devices without risk of recovery. 
  • Sanitization: Sanitization is an important data security measure to ensure that confidential information remains private. It does this by not just deleting a file, but also eliminating any traces of the original content embedded in meta-data such as comments or tags – ensuring complete and irrecoverable deletion. 

Protecting people’s PII is of the utmost importance. Secure data destruction certificates and thorough erasure practices that adhere to national laws provide a necessary layer of protection for individuals’ privacy rights by preventing misuse or unauthorized access to their sensitive details, such as full name, address, social security numbers or banking information. 
Proper data disposal helps organizations maintain effective levels of security while safeguarding against potential risks associated with mishandling someone’s PII.

Protecting Electronic PII in Your Company

The best way for organizations to ensure proper PII data protection is by working with a reputable partner who specializes in secure disposal services. These companies will have the necessary tools and expertise needed to securely dispose of any type of physical or digital media containing sensitive information. 

In addition, these companies will often provide additional services such as document shredding, hard drive wiping, and more – all designed to help ensure that all traces of sensitive information are completely destroyed before it can get into the wrong hands.

Ways Companies Can Protect PII Data 

As digital interaction and storage becomes more prevalent, it’s essential that organizations prioritize the security of their PII data. A breach in this area can potentially cause massive financial damage not to mention irreparable reputational harm. 

Investing in an effective privacy protocol is a must for any business wanting to stay ahead of the curve when it comes protecting personal information from malicious actors. 

  • Encryption: Encryption offers a secure way of transferring data by transforming it into an indecipherable form, safeguarding the information until one has access to its corresponding key. 
  • Secure Storage: To ensure personal information is kept safe, encryption alone isn’t enough. It must also be stored securely in platforms such as cloud storage providers or physically on hard drives and tape backups housed within secure environments for maximum peace of mind. 
  • Data Monitoring: Businesses can leverage a range of monitoring solutions to help protect their customers’ sensitive data. From basic log file analysis programs, all the way up to advanced security analytics software capable of detecting any anomalies in the network – businesses have plenty of options for safeguarding PII information. 

Training and Awareness Programs: Keeping employees informed on the latest in IT security practices is essential to safeguarding organizations and their assets. Organizations should provide comprehensive training programs that ensure personnel stay up-to-date with evolving best standards, providing an invaluable layer of protection against external threats.

Learn More About Personal Identifying Information

Ensuring proper PII data destruction should be a top priority for any organization that collects and stores this kind of sensitive information. 

Protecting sensitive information is critical for businesses, and PII should be handled with the utmost care. As a business leader you must ensure that proper protocols are in place to securely dispose of PII when it’s no longer necessary or legally required- safeguarding your customers’ data from misuse by malicious actors.

By partnering with a reputable provider who specializes in secure disposal services, organizations can rest assured knowing that their sensitive information will be safely disposed of without risk of being accessed by unauthorized individuals or entities. 

Doing so will not only help protect organizations from potential legal liability but also preserve their reputation in the process.

Christina Ortega

Christina is a Senior Content Strategist. She enjoys writing about recycling, e-waste, PII, risk mitigation, and security, among other areas. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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