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Kansas State University

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IT Help Desk
Kansas State University
214 Hale Library
Manhattan, KS 66506
800-865-6143 (toll-free)
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Sanitizing Paper Storage Media

A great deal of K-State information is stored on paper. From old class rosters to grade books, and personal files sitting in filing cabinets. Many contain confidential information like social security numbers that must be protected. Disposing of these files at the end of thier retention lifecycle by throwing them in the trash can or recycle bin is inadequate.

The only acceptable acceptable way to purge data from paper based media is to physically destroy it by one of theses two methods:

  1. Shredding
    • Paper-based or other hard copy media containing confidential University Data must be shred with a cross-cut shredder before disposal
    • The maximum particle size for paper-based media containing confidential data should be 1x5 mm (~1/32x1/5).
    • Media containing internal data should likewise be shredded with a cross-cut shredder if disclosure of the information contained therein might adversely impact the institution, an affiliated organization, or an individual.
    • The maximum particle size for media containing internal data is 2x15 mm (~1/16x3/5).
  2. Incineration
    • This is an acceptable form of disposal for paper based media but may only be performed through methods that are compliant with all relevant health, safety, and environmental laws and regulations.

See K-State's Data Classification and Security Policy for definitions of confidential and internal data.