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How Secure Are Shredding Services?

In 2019, identity theft and fraud cost consumers $16.9 billion. Meanwhile, companies paid billions more in fines and penalties for improperly disposing of sensitive or protected information.

Nationwide, the question of how to best dispose of documents is at the top of everyone’s minds. Hiring a third-party company to handle it for you is the favored option, but how secure are shredding services? Is there a difference in safety between on-site and off-site shredding?

Here’s what you need to know about document shredding services and how to choose one.

Why Use Professional Shredding Services at All?

Both companies and individuals routinely underestimate the volume of documents they have that need shredding. Any documents containing sensitive or personally identifiable information should be shredded. This includes:

  • Individual or company names and addresses
  • Contact information like telephone numbers
  • Birth dates
  • Banking or credit card information
  • ID numbers including Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and company ID numbers
  • Protected client information
  • Tax information
  • Travel documents
  • Usernames and passwords
  • Junk mail

Often, people fail to realize how much information a document carries. This is because features like barcodes and account numbers encode information in ways that make it impossible to see. It isn’t only new files or documents that need shredding either. Legal standards often require the keeping of documents for a set number of years. For example, the minimum storage period for many tax records is seven years. This means that at any given time, large numbers of both new and old documents are reaching their disposal point.

To further complicate matters, some companies need to be able to prove when and how they disposed of information. In-house shredding practices make that difficult.

Commercial paper shredding services, by contrast:

  • Can handle any volume of work
  • Make it feasible to shred everything you need to
  • Provide certificates of destruction that are invaluable for legal purposes.

How Secure Is Shredding?

Are you familiar only with the tiny, waste-basket-sized shredders ubiquitous to homes and offices? If so, you may have doubts about the effectiveness and security of shredding. In fact, you would be right to!

Document and information safety is challenging to achieve via traditional in-house shredding processes. Documents can be vulnerable to information theft:

  • During transport to where shredding occurs
  • During storage, if there is a wait before shredding
  • When dumped in a recycling or garbage bin

If your staff is busy, documents can sit unprotected for an extended period of time before shredding. Traditional shredders don’t help. Cheap strip-shredders slice documents into strips. These strips tend to be between one-eighth and five-sixteenths of an inch wide. This can look satisfying, but it isn’t very safe.

Thieves can often reconstruct documents shredded using strip-shredders. They steal bags of strips from refuse bins, then use sophisticated computer programs to piece them back together. Professional shredding companies, by contrast, protect your documents at every step.

First, they provide security containers into which you can deposit documents as soon as you finish with them. This ensures that your information is inaccessible to thieves between use and shredding. Second, they micro-shred and pulverize documents. This makes them guaranteed irretrievable, even to thieves using the best technology. Third, they remove your shredded documents and deliver them to a recycling facility. This is protective, eco-friendly, and cost-effective.

Commercial shredding companies provide your company with the highest level of security available. In addition, they certify their work. This enables you to document your regulatory compliance and efforts to control your carbon footprint.

On-Site vs off-Site Shredding

All industrial shredding is safer than relying on in-house shredding. On-site document destruction services, however, have an edge over off-site services. In fact, they are the pinnacle of safe document destruction.

With on-site shredding services:

  • Companies can watch as their documents are collected and shredded on the spot
  • There are no opportunities for information theft in transit
  • There are no opportunities for theft while documents are in queue at an off-site facility
  • Company representatives can observe and document the process as an added layer of accountability and liability protection
  • All parties involved enjoy comfort and peace of mind

Thus, when asking yourself “should I use an off-site shredder or look for mobile shredding services near me?” the best answer is to choose mobile shredding services whenever possible.

Other Benefits of Shredding

In addition to being the safest option, on-site shredding is:

  • Cost-effective
  • Efficient
  • Eco-friendly
  • Convenient

Few companies take the time to count the costs of shredding in-house. This leaves them surprised and dismayed when the full costs are tallied up, including:

Few workers have the spare time to shred documents in a timely manner around their other work. As such, shredding is often relegated to an after-thought. This creates opportunities for information theft. Alternatively, workers may worry about complying with information security policies. They may spend large chunks of time shredding documents rather than doing other work assigned to them.

Using a professional shredding company enables your employees to drop files in secured bins and confidently get on with their work. It also eliminates hidden costs, makes it possible to accurately see and budget for exactly how much document security and shredding costs you each year.

Commercial paper shredding services offer convenience and cost-effectiveness in the form of scheduled services, as well. With regularly scheduled service times, you can fully automate your document disposal process. This frees up time, energy, and resources you can devote to your core competencies.

Finally, document shredding services are eco-friendly. They guarantee that your shredded documents get safely recycled, which is not something you can be sure of otherwise. This can be the perfect top-note to your company’s Green goals and standards.

How Secure Are Shredding Services?

How secure are shredding services? They are the most secure option currently available to protect your data and your company from information thieves. Contact us today for a quote and discover just how efficient, convenient, and cost-effective using professional shredding services can be.

It’s common these days for businesses to outsource their marketing, accounting, IT, manufacturing, and more. Yet, so many organizations are still trying to dispose of their paper documents on their own.

Cybercrime has become one of the largest concerns for business owners today, and data shredding services can help ease these concerns. Reports state that in about 5 years, cybercrime could cost companies about $6 trillion worth of annual damages. These damages would not only impact companies, but could also extend to government agencies, nonprofits and private citizens.

Examples of the damages include, destruction or theft of money, intellectual property, personal or financial data by hackers. Then there are the other types of damages like loss of employee productivity, embezzlement, fraud, forensic investigations or other restoration efforts.

It’s apparent that a significant portion of cybercrime is not always calculated properly due to unreported crimes, but there are have been recent successes of law enforcement against criminal organizations worldwide.

Read on to learn why data shredding services are the answer you’ve been looking for

Protection Against Theft

Theft of sensitive information is on the rise. Whenever you have any documents in physical format, you are at risk. Those documents in recycling bins, filing folders, and on people’s desks could get into the wrong hands. Even hard copies of phone messages, quick notes, and other items that seem innocuous could combine together for someone to use it for dishonest purposes.

Most identity theft and fraud can be tied to paper. In fact, 1 in 5 data breaches involves paper records. Remember that it is not just you but your clients and customers that are at risk of being compromised. This is one of the most important reasons why you need data shredding services. Recycling or using personal shredders is not secure enough for your data.

Professional document destruction is vital for secure documents.

Compliance

Another reason why on-site shredding is not the best solution is due to compliance. Professional shredding of secure documents ensures that your organization complies with the State and Federal regulations such as the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.

Using small, strip-cut shredders for documents does not protect you against possible legal action. When you use a secure shredding provider, your records follow a rigid chain of custody and will even provide you with a certificate of destruction.

A secure shredding service enables your business to comply with state and federal laws as well as reduce the chance of litigation.

data shredding services blogEmployee and Customer Trust

Your employees provide you with much of their personal information such as their full name, address, banking information, and so on. It is your responsibility as an employer to prevent identity theft as best you can.

A secure shredding service protects your personnel records and files. This will give employees peace of mind. They will also know that you value them and their safety and will trust you.

The same is true of your business partners and customers. Organizations you do business with want to feel secure knowing that their customer lists, marketing plans, financial information, and so on are not going to end up in the hands of their competitors.

Environmentally Friendly

In the United States, each individual produces just under five pounds of paper-related garbage every day. Yes, in a single day! This waste moves into landfills where it piles up over time, leading to the need for more and more landfills.

You might assume that recycling and shredding are equally beneficial for our environment. But that is not the case. Not all paper put into a blue bin actually gets recycled. With professional shredding, all that paper will be either composted to provide nutrients for soil or recycled into more paper. We all must do our part to help protect the planet.

Productivity

If you’ve ever used a personal shredder, you know how tedious and time-consuming it can be. Some small units only can shred a page or two at a time. If your employees have to shred their own documents, that keeps them from performing their regular duties.

Outsourcing this task is more secure, effective and allows your team to get back to doing what they do best. A rise in productivity is the outcome.

Data Shredding Services

With the large quantity of confidential information stolen, it can be challenging to protect your employees and customers. Don’t compromise your security by not utilizing data shredding services for your business.

IntelliShred has the equipment, tools and staff available to meet your legal paper shredding, hard drive shredding and disposal needs. With over 30 years of experience within the industry, our team can help you maintain compliance with privacy regulations and ensure your confidentiality is secured.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment so we can assess what type of data shredding services your company can benefit from.

Sources: Report by Cybersecurity Ventures/The Herjavec Group

In the past few years, security breaches led to the compromising of nearly 4 billion confidential records. This information came from businesses, federal agencies, and even private homes. Storing sensitive information may seem the obvious choice to prevent security breaches. But there is another way, and it lies in data shredding services.

You might not think you need data shredding, but the consequences of letting all of that confidential information pile-up could be detrimental. Even if you don’t believe shredding data applies to your life, you should still educate yourself about these services.

So, what is secure shredding? Below, we answer all of your questions about secure shredding and why it is a great way to ensure your classified or sensitive business documents remain safe.

What Is Secure Shredding?

Secure shredding isn’t just making a run to your home or office shredder. This type of document destruction is on another level. When securely shredding private information, you want to make sure that the pieces are illegible.

When hiring a shredding service, you ensure the disposal of all private documents and information. Most self-service shredders cannot reduce the material to small enough ribbons to ensure security. Professional services are well equipped to shred your confidential information into extra small pieces, making it impossible to piece them back together.

The disposal process should include on-site disposal, where you get to watch the shredding happen. They will also provide secure containers so no one can break in and recover the information.

Why Invest In Secure Shredding?

You may wonder why you should consider paying an office shredding service to come out and destroy your files, e-files, and other documents. Fact is, it couldn’t hurt to add an extra layer of protection in regards to your data. Along with security, these services also provide other benefits such as de-cluttering your office, saving time, and abiding by the law.

Protects Your Clients

Whether you run a medical practice or are a real estate agent, the customer’s privacy should always be the main priority. Sometimes, people assume their business is not subject to a breach in data.

These businesses may not see the need to hire a secure shredding service for their documents. But all client info, even if it is just their name, needs to remain confidential. Immediately shredding documents, billing information, and anything else personal to your client or patient will ensure safety.

Protects Your Employees

Breaches in data come with weighty consequences. These consequences could pertain to you or an employee who did not follow protocol.

Your workers have privacy rights. Therefore, it is your job to discard their personal information securely. Now, if an employee leaks information, the repercussions will fall both on you and on them. A client or patient whose private details are public is liable to sue your company. This can cost you thousands of dollars in fines. While the employee who is accountable for the mishap could be looking at a jail sentence.

You should pay attention to where you store checks, payroll information, direct deposit information, or anything else regarding employees and clients. A secure shredding service would protect you both by expertly destroying your documents.

Abides By The Law

There are several laws with regards to shredding private data. The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) states that when a company finishes with a client, that company should dispose of the info.

You must shred documents until they are no longer legible. When we throw out the trash, it becomes public property. That means anyone can rummage through a business’s dumpster to find documents with credit card numbers or addresses written on them.

It is not enough to merely shred these documents yourself, either. Most companies use a standard shredder that you can buy anywhere. These shredders cut the paper into ribbons, but that isn’t illegible enough. Someone could still piece that document back together to recover it.

That’s where a shredding service comes in to help. These services use shredders that cut papers and other media (CDs, floppy discs, etc.) into small pieces. The method they use is cross-cutting. The shredding machines will cut your data into pieces measuring 1 millimeter by 12 millimeters.

If you have confidential federal data, you can even have a shredder cut it up into pieces that are less than 1 millimeter by 5 millimeters. The smaller the pieces, the fewer chances of breaking security laws and shredding laws.

Avoids Clutter

While it doesn’t have anything to do with protecting security, clutter is still a concern. You can hire shredding companies to come out a few times a month and clear out the files you have lying around your office. Afterward, you will have a more organized workspace for you and your employees.

Saves Time

Sitting around shredding every document you have will take up a good chunk of your time. Chances are you will only have access to a regular office shredder. That means you can only shred a few items at once.

A secure shredding service solves both of those problems at once. Their machines are capable of disposing of large bundles of papers at a time. Therefore, what would take you days will only take a few minutes with a service.

Who Needs Secure Shredding?

Everyone should consider secure shredding. The process may be most important to small businesses and medical practices that allow access to personal health information.

Businesses that need secure shredding include the following:

  • Medical practices
  • Federal agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Mail carriers or shipping services
  • Accountants
  • Any business selling products

Note that this list is in no way comprehensive. Even if you are an individual or private residence, you should look into securely shredding your documents. Even junk mail can lead to matters like identity theft if it falls into the wrong hands.

What Should You Shred?

If you aren’t sure whether to securely shred a document, it is better to be safe than sorry. If someone steals or leaks information from you, the repercussions could be devastating.

Items that need secure shredding include the following:

  • Tax information
  • Patient health information
  • Lists of customers/customer information
  • Credit card/billing information
  • Payroll information
  • Federal documents with confidential information
  • Mail with addresses on it (such as junk mail)
  • Pay stubs
  • Voided checks
  • Photo IDs
  • Airline tickets
  • Birth certificates

While it may not seem likely to you that someone would use your information, it can still happen. Some people like to mark out data with a marker or cut it up with scissors.

Unfortunately, when it comes to documents detailing pertinent information such as a social security number, those strategies won’t be enough. Hiring secure shredding companies will always be the best method.

Hire a Shredding Service

At IntelliShred, we want you to have sound peace of mind when it comes to disposing of your data. Our services include data and e-file destruction and are professional in every way possible so that you aren’t left wondering about your level of data security. IntelliShred disposes of everything on-site. That way, your sensitive files never leave the premise. After the process is over, we will give you a Certificate of Destruction.

We hoped that we answered everything surrounding the question “What is secure shredding?” If you need shredding services, we urge you to contact us and get a free quote from us today.