For many businesses, handling and storing information is an afterthought. This generally means that not all companies are aware of the responsibility that comes when storing sensitive documents and data on their premises or what liabilities the business has to ensure that information is safe.Sensitive data covers a wide span of information including include racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, Religious or other similar beliefs, Trade Union membership, Physical or mental health condition, names and addresses, national insurance numbers, car registrations and employees numbers.Sensitive data can be kept in two formats, documents and discs. Generally most companies should keep a back-up of any data that comes into the office which stores sensitive information that needs to be protected.The costs involved in storing information on-site can prove surprising when all things are taken into account when it comes to ensuring that the sensitive documents and discs are protected against fraudsters as well as reducing the risk of losing or damaging sensitive information.Costs occurred may include assigning a member of staff to take responsibility of the document storage as well as having a security system in place to ensure that only appointed staff have access to the information. This could mean computer login systems if information is accessible through computers as well as keeping paper documents in a secure location which is only accessible to authorized staff. As well as storing and managing information, businesses also have to keep in mind that data and document destruction is also outlined in the FSA policy. All sensitive information must be destroyed effectively to ensure it is not left vulnerable to fraudsters. This could mean either shredding the information or incinerating it. If information is kept on-site, then sensitive data must be destroyed before it leaves the premises. This too could prove to be an additional unwanted cost.Since the costs can be so high, may companies opt to use off-site archive and records storage companies to handle and manage their sensitive information. This is a viable solution since most off-site records storage companies will be fully equipped to handle data and documents in line with the requirements of the data protection act.Some off-site records management and archive companies will have a computer system in place to not only store the information in a way which can easily be retrieved, but also provide a system which enables businesses to access their information online. This saves the costs of a company purchasing the necessary equipment themselves to enable this in the office.Keeping sensitive information secure is of the highest importance, as soon as you are in receipt of information that is under the data protection law, you immediately have an obligation to keep that information safe. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the company rather than the member of staff who was the initial contact receiving the information. Off-site companies can help to protect that information and offer maximum security measures to protect the information from falling into the wrong hands.Before you decide which company to use, you must always visit the premises to ensure that the standards of the data protection laws are met. As well as this, you need to ensure that the company can provide the serve you require which will enable your work day to flow smoothly when it comes to accessing information that you need during that working day.Using a records archive and storage company could prove to be the best solution for a business who is not fully equipped to manage and destroy sensitive data and find the costs too expensive.