Redacting Documents: What It Is, How It Works, and When to Use It

Redact confidential documents to keep private information secure.

Ever wonder what kind of information is redacted from documents? Or do you want to know how to redact a document? Redacting documents is an essential tool that helps keep your business in compliance while still being able to distribute information.

Check out the video or read below for a better understanding of redacting documents and the industries that use them most.

What Does Redact Mean?

Otherwise known as document sanitizing, redaction is the process of blacking out or removing any sensitive information from a document. Therefore, you can still use and distribute the document but still protect confidential information.

What Information Should I Be Redacting?

You should redact sensitive information that thieves can use to commit fraud or expose private information. The following list is a general guide:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Driver’s license or professional license numbers
  • Protected health information and other medical information
  • Financial documents and files
  • Proprietary information or trade secrets
  • Judiciary records
  • Individuals’ addresses, dates and months of birth, and other personally identifiable information (PII)

What Industries Use Redaction

Nearly every industry needs redaction in some form to protect important information. However, some, like the legal industry and the government, deal with more sensitive information than others. This, in turn, requires redacting documents, whether it’s case files or other confidential documents.

Another example is healthcare, which is mandated by HIPAA to protect PHI (Protected Health Information). The healthcare industry is one of the most vulnerable to data breaches and identity theft. Additionally, it is necessary to notify affected individuals if their information is exposed. Moreover, redaction helps to keep PHI safe from breaches and identity theft. 

How to Redact a Document

The process for redacting documents with Record Nations

Redacting documents only requires 3 simple steps.

1. Scan and convert your documents to a digital format with OCR
2. PII in searchable digital files is identified for redaction
3. Redaction removes the sensitive information and stores the file in this format.

Redacting Documents Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR technology allows search engines to locate and mark sensitive information within digital documents for redaction. The OCR redaction process includes a few steps:

  • Automated software analyzes the document for PII (paper and microfilm must be scanned first)
  • The service sanitizes the file, removing and redacting marked information
  • The document is reproduced in its redacted format and restored with other files in a document management system (DMS) or cloud storage

Do You Need Help With Redacting Documents?

Get free, no-obligation quotes on document redaction services near you. Call Record Nations at (866) 385-3706, fill out the form, or contact us directly using our live chat to start.

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