July 24, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

How to safely delete your private notes after reading?

3 min read

You all take private notes from time to time – whether it’s jotting down account numbers, passwords, private thoughts, or confidential information related to work. While writing things down helps us retain and clarify information, those notes potentially expose sensitive details if they fall into the wrong hands or aren’t properly disposed of.

Never leave private notes lying out in plain sight while they’re still needed. Keep them secured in a locked drawer, locked box, or other concealed location when not directly in use. If you need to take them on the go, keep them on your person at all times, rather than leaving them in a bag or purse that could be easily stolen or lost.

Use paper that fully destroyed

When possible, write your confidential info on paper that later be destroyed and dissolved, rather than shreds that could potentially be pieced back together.

  • Acid-free paper – Can fully burn/disintegrate when properly incinerated
  • Rice or starch paper – Dissolves completely in water
  • “Goof proof” paper – Breaks cleanly into tiny pieces when shredding

By using materials that dissolve or reduce to unsalvageable bits of pulp, you don’t have to worry about anyone reassembling details from the trash.

Destroy notes thoroughly after use

Never just throw private notes in the garbage when you’re done with them! Unwanted paper records too easily be fished out of the trash to steal identities or enable other types of fraud. Always destroy beyond recovery as soon as they are no longer needed.

  • Cross-cut shredding into confetti-sized pieces using a micro-cut or cross-cut shredder
  • Incinerating completely using a safe burner or fireplace
  • Pulping in water using dissolvable rice or starch paper
  • Pulverizing into tiny fragments using a heavy-duty paper shredder

Ideally, you want shreds or ashes too tiny and destroyed to ever piece back together. Don’t forget to also safely wipe or destroy digital copies!

Use encrypted digital notes when possible

For sensitive information you need to reference often or while on the go, encrypted digital private note is safer and more convenient than paper. The notes are secured with industry-standard encryption like AES-256 as they await offline and are decrypted only briefly when the correct key is provided. It protects confidential data at rest but allows quick access when needed. And when no longer necessary, the notes are permanently deleted with one click.

Even with rigorous security procedures in place, it’s easy to forget about an old notebook or encrypted digital file tucked away somewhere with sensitive information inside. Get in the habit of regularly checking for and deleting unneeded notes every 6 months or year. For digital files, turn on automated delete reminders. And purge any leftover paper records at least annually, cross shredding or incinerating anything no longer current or necessary.

Follow security protocols consistently

Living a private, secure life is often less about one single foolproof method and more about developing consistent vigilant habits over time. Don’t let your guard down just because a note seems harmless or trivial. Make safely storing, encrypting, and destroying your written records standard protocol no matter how innocuous the content seems. Consistent adherence to secure principles is the best way to keep your private information properly safeguarded over the years.