Career counseling services aren't typically considered to be financial institutions. After all, they provide career advice -- not investment advice. Several career counseling companies are considered financial institutions, though, by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act, and they must meet the act's requirements to protect client's information. If you have a business that provides career counseling services, keep both your clients and your company safe by hiring a paper shredding service to destroy sensitive documents.
Some Career Counseling Companies are Financial Institutions
The GLB Act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which summarizes how the act identifies financial institutions. The FTC's summary includes several obvious criteria that the GLB Act outlines. According to the summary, and business that engages in one of the following activities meets the act's definition of a financial institution:
- settles real estate transactions
- collects debts
- services or brokers loans
- invests, transfers or lends on someone else's behalf
- offers financial services
Career counseling companies don't meet these definitions, but there is one more, less obvious criterion that some career counseling service providers do meet. Any business that places individuals in the financial services industry is considered to be a financial institution, according to the FTC's summary.
Thus, if your career counseling company helps people find jobs in the financial services sector, your company is also considered a financial institution. If your business helps real estate lawyers, loan agents or investment advisors find jobs, it's part of the financial services sector. Even if you primarily place teachers and nurses -- but you also help people get jobs at a local debt collectors call center -- your company meets the GLB Act's definition of a financial institution.
As a financial institution, your company must adhere to the GLB Act's requirements.
The GLB Act Protects Clients' Information
The GLB Act's primary purpose is to protect consumers', or clients' in the financial sector, personal information. As soon as someone gives their information to a company that meets the above criteria, that information is protected by the act. Among other requirements, financial institutions must give clients a privacy notice as soon as they ask for personal information.
The act's protections extend well beyond the initial collection of information, though. Financial institutions must safeguard clients' personal information for as long as they are in possession of the information, and then they must dispose of it in a way that no one else can retrieve it. In other words, companies are expected to keep clients' personal information safe until they destroy it.
Paper Shredding is a Safe Way to Dispose of Personal Information
Unless your company plans on building secure storehouses to keep clients' information for eternity, you need a safe way to dispose of personal information. Paper shredding is the perfect way to dispose of documents that have personal information, as cross-cut shredders make it impossible to piece papers back together and read them.
In theory, you could use a personal-sized cross-cut shredder and have an employee shred all sensitive documents. This solution, though, is time-consuming and tedious, and you'll need to pay an employee to shred all of your company's papers.
A more efficient solution is to hire a paper shredding company. Such a company can send someone to your office and quickly shred all documents that contain client's' information. You can even have them come when no one is in the office. The papers that need shredding can be kept in a lockbox that only you and the company have the key to, so they can access the papers without inconveniencing anyone at your company.
If you have a business that provides career counseling advice to anyone in the financial services sector, make sure your company is in line with the GLB Act's requirements. Contact a paper shredding service in your area to have all documents that contain clients' personal information efficiently and properly disposed of. Hiring a shredding service will cost a little money, but it will be less than the cost of being caught not properly destroying documents that contain clients' information. Check out websites like http://www.vitalrecordscontrol.com for more information.