Whether it’s your individual personal information, your client and customers, or your company’s trade secrets, it is your responsibility to protect it. While document shredding may not be at the forefront of your brain, it should be to prevent irreversible damage. Maintaining the privacy of information in your documents ensures that issues such as identity theft, data breaches, and violations of privacy laws are avoided. Let’s look into the many reasons to start shredding documents!
Why is Shredding Important?
Identity Theft: One of the most common reasons to shred documents is to protect yourself from identity theft. If your personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account information, falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to open new accounts in your name and rack up debt. This can ruin your credit score and take years to recover from. Document shredding is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft, as it ensures that your sensitive information is destroyed beyond recognition.
Data Breaches: Protection from data breaches is another crucial reason to shred documents. A data breach can have devastating consequences if your company stores sensitive customer information, such as credit card numbers or Social Security numbers. A data breach occurs when sensitive information is accessed without authorization. This can happen if documents containing confidential information are left unsecured or if they are disposed of improperly. By shredding documents, you can ensure that they are destroyed before they have a chance to fall into the wrong hands.
Another reason to invest in document shredding services is to ensure compliance with data protection laws. Depending on your business and the type of information you handle, you may be required to comply with federal or state laws, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or the California Consumer Privacy Act. These laws typically require businesses to take measures to protect their customers’ personal information, such as destroying documents containing sensitive information. Document shredding is an effective way to comply with these laws and protect your customers’ privacy.
Better Business Practices
Shredding documents is not only good for your customers and your business, but it’s also good for the environment. When documents are shredded, they are recycled into new paper products. This helps reduce the amount of paper that ends up in landfills and reduces the need to cut down trees to produce new paper. Document shredding is a win-win for everyone involved!
What Should You Be Shredding?
Now that you know the many reasons to shred documents, you may be wondering what types of documents you should be shredding. In general, any paper that contains sensitive information should be shredded. This includes old tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, and medical and employment records. If you’re unsure whether a document contains sensitive information, err on caution and shred it.
Professional Service vs. In-house Shredder
Once you’ve decided to start shredding documents, you’ll need to choose a shredding method. You can use a professional document shredding service or an in-house paper shredder.
Professional Shredding Service
There are several benefits of using a professional document shredding service:
- It’s more secure – Document shredding services use industrial-strength shredders that can destroy large quantities of documents quickly and efficiently. They also have strict security protocols to ensure your records are properly destroyed.
- It’s more convenient – With a professional document shredding service, you don’t have to worry about taking the time to shred your documents yourself. Schedule a pickup, and the shredded documents will be taken off your hands.
- It’s more environmentally friendly – Document shredding services recycle the shredded paper, which helps reduce the amount of paper waste in landfills.
If you decide to use an in-house paper shredder, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you choose a high-quality shredder that can handle the volume of documents you need to shred.
- Be sure to empty the shredded paper from the shredder regularly to prevent it from jamming.
- Remember to recycle the shredded paper to help reduce your environmental impact.
By using a professional shredding service, you can make all of these factors easier, as it will be the company that handles the work.
No matter which method you choose, document shredding is a critical way to protect your privacy and comply with data protection.
What About Digital Data?
In addition to physical documents, you also need to be concerned about digital data. This includes emails, text messages, and social media posts. While it may seem like digital data doesn’t need to be shredded, this isn’t the case. If your computer is hacked or your phone is stolen, sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands. A hard-drive destruction service will permanently keep sensitive information out of the wrong hands.
As you can see, there are many reasons to shred documents. By shredding documents, you can protect your customers’ and employees’ privacy, comply with data protection laws, and help the environment. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
Still, have more questions about document shredding? We’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more.