Paper shredders have been around in offices and homes since the early 1900’s. They are made of multiple blades that shred the paper into strips or pieces for data destruction. There are several types of paper shredders, each designed to shred papers differently, from simple and bigger strips to unrecognizable micro-sized pieces. There are also paper shredders which are made to shred one paper at a time. There are some shredders which can shred up hundreds of papers in one go.
The Importance of Shredding Documents
Anyone might need to do some paper shredding to discard documents which contain private or confidential information. In a world where competitors and identity thieves lurk around the corner waiting for a chance to steal or take sensitive information, disposing of documents must be taken very seriously. After all, one wouldn’t want all their hard work stolen or used for other purposes just because they slipped up on disposing printed documents. Confidential information on printed material such as tax reports, bank statements, and social security numbers must be protected like digital data because they too can be stolen and made to be used by other people for notorious purposes.
Shredding Services vs. Confidential Shredding
Apart from personal and office shredders, mobile and industrial shredders also offer their services for people who are willing to pay for their documents to be shredded. Shredding services and confidential paper shredding both have advantages and disadvantages and choosing what to use would depend on a person or a company’s availability, budgets, and confidentiality of documents. Mobile and industrial shredding services perform their work faster and are better for people who are very busy and don’t have the time to actually sit around shredding documents. It would also be cheaper to send the documents to shredding services than to actually hire an employee who would be tasked to shred the documents on a full-time basis. Opting for personal or confidential shredding can also be advantageous, especially for small-scale businesses, since they can be entirely sure of their documents’ confidentiality. It may also cost less if one does the shredding himself since he does not have to pay any fees.
So choosing between the two is entirely based on the scale of your business and the confidentiality of your documents
You probably already know that a paper shredding service can be a valuable asset to your business, but what you may not know is that not every shredding company is the same. Here are some questions you should ask before hiring a paper shredding service to help you destroy documents.
Will anyone see the documents while they are being shredded?
While you may think that having workers see your documents while they are shredding them is inevitable, this is simply not the case. Measures can be put in place, including storing documents in a locked box until they are ready to be shredded. If a company does not take the appropriate steps to ensure your privacy, you should consider hiring someone else.
How are documents shredded?
Simply shredding documents into thin strips will not ensure that information on them cannot be obtained. Instead, you should have them cross cut into tiny particles that somewhat resemble graffiti in order to ensure no one is later able to recreate your documents.
What certifications do you hold?
Certification from the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is the highest in the industry and will ensure that those who are shredding your documents follow all the required government regulations when doing so.
Can you provide me with other data destruction services?
You may sometimes need to destroy computer hard drives, CD-Roms or other forms of electronic media in addition to having paper shredded. If so, you’ll need a company who can take care of more than one type of media for you as well.
Will you come back at predetermined intervals so that I can stay on top of my shredding needs?
This is an important question to ask if you generate a large number of paper documents and regularly need to have them purged. Scheduling this service monthly or even quarterly will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by the document shredding process.
In today’s day and age, every business collects and maintains sensitive information. Although many businesses are making the shift to storing data electronically, there are still many businesses that store paper files. If you’re one of those businesses, you may be wondering what to do with those important documents when they’re no longer needed. Customer lists, payroll records, and credit card information are all things that should be shredded when you’re ready to dispose of them. Wondering why it’s so important to shred important business documents? Here are the top five reasons:
1. Prevent identity theft
In 2012, about 16.6 million U.S. residents over the age of 16 were victims of at least one identity theft incident according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In order to protect your employees, customers, and business, it’s essential that you shred documents when they’re no longer needed. When these documents are still in your possession, it’s important that you store them in a safe and protected location.
2. Protect your customers
Going along with the point above, it’s important that you do everything you can to protect your customers’ identities. Even though you shouldn’t be writing down credit card information, it’s important to shred this information immediately. The same goes for any documents that have sensitive customer information on it.
3. It’s the law
Legislation regarding information privacy and security is getting more and more rigorous, and it continues to be strictly enforced. Penalties can be severe for businesses that fail to comply with these regulations. You have a duty to protect your customers’ personal and secure information. If you don’t, you’re at risk of receiving fines for mishandling customer information.
4. Protect your employees
Employees have a legal right to privacy, and they expect that you will keep their personal information safe. Where are you discarding voided checks, old pay stubs, time cards, health records, copies of photo IDs etc.? If you’re simply throwing them in trash can, not doing everything to ensure that your employees’ privacy and identity are protected. Shredding these documents is a better alternative to just throwing them away.
5. You’ll save space
Do you really need all of those papers that are piling up in your office? If you have paper taking up coveted “real estate” in your office, consider shredding those documents instead. By shredding all of those unnecessary documents, you’ll create extra space in your office for other, more important things.