When and Why You Should Use Paper Shredding Services
Disposing of a digital file is much easier than destroying paper documents in a safe way. After all, once you throw it in the trash, and then you dispose of your trash, in most countries, it becomes public property. That means that anyone can take your documents and use them for various malicious purposes.
If you want to avoid anyone using your old personal or business documents against you, you need to shred them.
Many companies have their own shredding devices, but hiring professional services can be a better solution. Here’s why and when you should use them.
Ditch Your Machine — Outsource Paper Shredding
Even if you own a device for paper shredding, you might want to hire professionals to shred documents. Enlisting the services of a third-party to do this job is much more practical and secure.
Most in-house devices shred in long vertical strips, which are super easy to assemble if someone is really bent on doing it (you’d be surprised how many people are). Professional machines usually cross-cut the files and make them into confetti-like pieces, so there’s no way to reassemble them.
Moreover, they offer certified destruction, which means your confidential confetti will be sent to a paper mill and recycled immediately.
Also, think about the possibility of employment fraud when you let a lone employee handle your sensitive document destruction. That can’t happen if you hire professional help as it’s in their best interest to make sure your paper doesn’t survive and get into the wrong hands.
What to Shred
Whether you’re going through your paper-filled drawers at home or lamenting over stacks of files in your office cabinet, you could benefit from paper shredding services.
There are many types of documents that could hurt you or your business if they got into the wrong hands. So here are some things you should shred.
Personal Papers to Prevent Identity Theft
Any document that holds your personally identifiable info (PII) — social security number, driver’s license number, full name, email address, etc. — should be destroyed with care.
Identity thefts occur way too often, and one in five data breaches stem from abandoned paper records.
Any personal health information (PHI), such as lab tests, insurance info, medical histories, etc., is also shredding material.
Outdated Business Data
Old strategy plans, legal documents, pricing plans, and other confidential data have no business sitting in various cabinets and drawers. Skilled corporate dumpster divers can use even seriously outdated info for nefarious purposes.
Not only could you suffer significant financial damage, but your reputation could be in danger too. A study showed that 80% of participants would defect from a company that experienced a data breach.
Employee Privacy Data
This doesn’t depend on your good will either — most countries have laws obliging you to safeguard employee private information.
The same goes for your customers — there are laws mandating that you protect your sensitive customer data. This is especially important if you work with such information on a daily basis.
Not only are you obliged to dispose of any confidential customer documents responsibly, but even if there were no laws regulating this, you’d still want to do it. One customer data breach is enough to spell the end for your company.
Even unspecified clutter is better off in the hands of professional paper shredders. You never know what kind of documents could find their way to these piles of files that take up your precious space unnecessarily.
Benefits of Paper Shredding Services
As you’re probably beginning to see, there are numerous benefits to enlisting professional shredding services for the documents you no longer need. Here are the most important ones.
Preventing Data Breaches
So, as we have seen, the first and most important advantage is eliminating the risk of any data breaches — be it your personal data, company info, or employee and customer data. Many companies can also destroy your hard drives for maximum security.
You Get Two in One — Security and Recycling
By choosing to use professional services, not only do you ensure absolute data security, but you also take care of the environment.
Many companies are pushing to become more environmentally friendly by trying not to use paper at all. However, you can also be green if you make sure that your old paper is repurposed instead of it ending up in a dumpster.
Keeping Fire Hazards Away
Random paper lying around is a serious fire hazard. A fire will certainly destroy your documents for good, but it will also destroy everything else in its way. To prevent that and ensure workplace safety, make sure there’s no random paper on desks, in bins and drawers, etc., by having professionals shred it.
Maybe you’ve collected a significant amount of paper simply because you didn’t know what to do with it and how to get rid of it. So why not free that space for something you would actually use by disposing of old files? You’d be surprised how much extra space you could get this way.
Using an office shredder is anything but convenient. It takes time, and it’s messy. You’d have to remove plastic file holders, paper clips, staples, and anything that’s not paper first. Then, you’d have to figure out what to do with the waste. Maybe you’d send someone to take them for recycling.
With professional services, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Many companies even have powerful shredders that can cut through plastic, rubber, and other materials.
Relying on paid shredding services can actually save you money in the long run. It’s an elegant solution to a clunky problem, and you don’t have to worry about any extra costs.
On the other hand, the repairs and maintenance of your office shredder could prove quite costly and inefficient. What’s more, when some of your employees are shredding paper, they’re wasting precious time they should be spending doing their job, thus losing you money.
Lastly, the costs of data breaches and failure to comply with the law could bankrupt you.
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