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Why is Shredding Important in the Education Sector

Whether you are a teacher, administrative staff member, student committee member, or a volunteer, if you are closely involved in the field of education, you are aware of the huge amounts of physical and digital data that are processed daily. From personal and financial, to medical and education assessment, every institution collects, creates and stores a host of sensitive information pertaining to their staff, faculty, students and their parents/ guardians. Given the confidential nature of this data, a number of privacy protection measures are already in place for the education industry in the US. 

For example:

  • Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) protects the financial privacy of students and faculty.
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the privacy of student education records.
  • Florida has the Florida Information protection Act of 2014 defining how to collect, process and protect the personal information of students and faculty.

Industry-Specific Insights by Florida’s Information Management Experts 

Despite all these measures, reports suggest that the education industry accounts for 13% of the total digital information hacks, and this number is growing rapidly with each passing year.  

At Crown Information Management, we specialize in industry-specific solutions that safeguard your paper and electronic records through each phase of their lifecycle, including creation, storage and destruction. We offer a number of shredding plans for physical documents, as well as digital media and hard drives, helping you meet and exceed all applicable regulations and industry norms. Our data destruction professionals explain why hiring professional shredding services should be a top priority for the education industry. 

Top Reasons for Educational Institutions to Invest in a Formal Shredding Program

Schools, universities, higher education institutions, every organization that is part of the education sector tries to maintain an inclusive culture and a ‘free exchange of information’ mindset. As a result, many institutions shy away from enforcing strict security protocols. Furthermore, the education sector faces other challenges, such as:

  • Absence of a unifying, umbrella platform for the sector to store and manage staff and student records across institutions.
  • Inadequate awareness of advanced measures available on the information security technology front. For example, without proper security protocols, students and parents remotely accessing school systems from home networks, computers and mobile devices leave these institutions vulnerable to hacks and data theft.
  • Some progressive organizations do invest in the latest technology. However, since several users play multiple roles within the system, it is challenging to define robust identity management processes, or secure access control protocols.

It is not only the electronic records that require safeguarding; physical files and records are also potentially unsafe, unless the institution has a formal document management and destruction process in place. In addition to institutionalizing a policy and sensitizing the students and staff, consider hiring a professional shredding service that will help you:

  • Protect sensitive data and information, and fully comply with state laws and federal regulations.
  • Save valuable time, cost and effort of in-house shredding, and allow students and faculty to focus on their core jobs.
  • Make the document tracking and storage process more efficient and minimize the risk of losing or misplacing stored records. 
  • Improve document security through a meticulous store, save, or destroy approach. This is particularly useful in segregating and shredding records that have met the minimum retention period.

Require a robust records management policy for your educational institution? Want a trusted partner for secure shredding of your physical and digital records? Get in touch with the experts at Crown Information Management today. Call us toll-free at 800-979-9545, or contact us online for a free estimate.