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Ensure your business documents are POPI compliant with these three useful tips

by , 30 April 2015
The minute the long-awaited Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) comes into affect , all SA businesses will HAVE to comply with it.

But, says Gianmarco Lorenzi, Managing Director of Cleardata - a group company of JSE listed Metrofile Holdings Limited - getting acquainted with the new regulations isn't simple: 'Businesses may need to alter processes completely and may even need to hire a dedicated manager who ensures that all processes are carried out in accordance with the industry specific requirements.'

Are you prepared?

POPI and personal information – what you need to know

One key aspect of POPI compliance refers to the the requirement for confidential destruction of any documents containing personal details. Failure to comply with the Act can lead to fines and penalties as well massive reputational damage.

Speaking to Bizmag.co.za, Lorenzi offers the following tips for businesses to apply or pay attention to whenever planning a strategy to ensure POPI compliance when it comes to document destruction:

1. Delegate the responsibility:

Businesses should employ the services of a reputable information destruction partner that is compliant with international standards document destruction. Quoted by Bizmag.co.za, he declared: 'When document destruction is outsourced, organisations can focus on their core business and leave it to the experts to ensure that confidential documents and records do not fall into the hands of unauthorised parties.'

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2. Don't neglect physical documents:

The business' management team may often think that the confidential paper destruction aspect of the business is taken care of, while this could actually be neglected or omitted entirely. Make sure this isn't the case for your business and make sure documents are shredded in a secure location by a National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) compliant service provider whose practices are in-line with international security guidelines.

3. Get rid of the clutter:

According to the same source, management teams must know what information should be stored on paper and what information stored electronically. You should then implement an appropriate destruction protocol in this regard throughout the organisation. You have to make sure employees only store information required for the business and ensure expired records are destroyed timeously and effectively.

In the end, he explains that "when destroying unwanted personal information, shredding is still the most effective data destruction method as it ensures the documentation cannot be reconstituted in any way. Failing to destroy personal customer information properly could lead to severe consequences which includes hefty fines from the regulator.'

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