Whether it’s customer/client details, financial records, proprietary company information, or employee files, most organizations eventually find themselves in possession of sensitive information. More often than not, a large percentage of that data is stored on paper.
The responsibility of protecting that information falls solely on the shoulders of the business, and unfortunately, paper is an incredibly insecure way of storing it.
While many businesses have attempted to reduce their reliance on paper, there are times when paper processes are simply unavoidable.
The result is a gradual accumulation of sensitive paper documents.
However, hanging onto these sensitive documents any longer than necessary heightens the risks of a breach of confidentiality, a devastating scenario for any business.
Thankfully the solution is simple: Implement strict data retention policies, and regularly purge documents that fall outside of those policies.
One of the most efficient and effective ways to do so is to use a professional shredding service.
The benefits of hiring a third party to handle your business’s shredding needs are numerous. Not only do professional paper shredding services help you protect the confidentiality of your data, but they also cost significantly less than most people think, and make the stress of meeting data compliance requirements a thing of the past.
There are plenty of reasons why businesses choose to hire a document shredding company as opposed to shredding them themselves, or even worse, just throwing them in the trash.
The experience and equipment that a professional shredding company brings to the table can be difficult if not impossible to replicate. Here are the top 10 reasons to choose a professional paper shredding company over in-house shredding.
- Legal Compliance
- Enhanced Security
- Reduced Cost
- Guaranteed Destruction
- Added Compliance
- Environmentally Friendly
1. Legal Compliance
Securely destroying documents that contain PII or PHI is the law. In fact, there are hundreds of laws implemented at both the state and federal levels that aim to protect the personal data of U.S. residents. At the federal level, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) brings enforcement actions against any business that fails to provide adequate security to protect personal information.
In addition, many other federal statutes have been created to address specific industries, including HIPAA laws that regulate the healthcare industry or FACTA, which targets financial services industries.
One of the biggest advantages of a document destruction service is that the equipment, employee training, and processes involved are specifically designed to ensure compliance with these legal requirements.
Read our article for more information about data privacy laws and compliance.
2. Enhanced Security
Crimes involving identity theft and information fraud are rising sharply worldwide. In almost every case, the source of the data used in these crimes is the result of the improper handling of sensitive personal data.
Often, seemingly innocuous human errors are the cause. Piles of paper building up next to the shredder, misplaced documents, or improperly shredded materials are usually to blame.
The truth is, it’s not your employees fault, mistakes happen.
Forcing your employees to maintain document destruction protocols places an unfair burden on their shoulders, and poses an unnecessary risk to your business and the security of your data.
Professional shredding services help solve these problems by simplifying your internal document destruction process and moving the responsibility of document destruction to a third party provider.
This eliminates human errors that lead to cracks in your security armor and helps protect the confidentiality of the data you possess.
3. Reduced Cost
While it may appear to be less expensive to purchase your own shredding equipment and handle the destruction of your documents yourself, that is rarely the case.
Aside from the potential expenses of dealing with the fallout of a data breach,
the costs of manual labor, equipment, employee training, and babysitting your employees to ensure they are following the proper protocols can add up quickly.
By outsourcing your document destruction to an experienced shredding services provider like SecureScan, you pay only for the shredding you need and not a penny more. There’s no equipment to buy, no training, and no headaches.
Industrial shredding equipment can process a high volume of documents in very little time, especially when compared to the consumer-grade shredding equipment often found in most offices.
Bins full of documents can be securely destroyed in minutes, as opposed to shredding them individually or in small batches throughout the day.
This eliminates the tedious and time-consuming nature of the typical “scan as you go” paper shredding protocols implemented by offices that choose to shred documents themselves.
5. Guaranteed Destruction
To most people, a garbage bag full of shredded paper materials is an impossibly tangled web of paper strands worth no more than its weight in paper. To a would-be data thief, that same bag of materials is a treasure trove of potentially valuable information waiting to be uncovered.
Most commercially available shredders destroy paper sufficiently enough to thwart off the most basic data breaches. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and unfortunately, most of these devices churn out paper strips that can be put back together by a dedicated data thief with the right technology or even contain enough data to be useful.
Industrial shredding equipment obliterates your documents by implementing cross-cut shredding, essentially slicing every sheet of paper both vertically and horizontally. This results in what basically amounts to confetti-like pieces that are impossible to reassemble. Not only that, but these pieces end up mixed in with any other material still in the equipment, creating a puzzle no one would ever attempt to solve.
6. Added Convenience
The convenience of using a professional shredding service cannot be understated.
Document management and retention is essentially handled for you, easing the pressures of meeting compliance and taking the weight off of your employee’s shoulders.
When you use our shredding services, we deliver secure locking bins to your office, where your employees can simply deposit any and all documents that need to be destroyed as they are generated. No equipment to use, no training, and no additional effort needed.
Our industrial shredders make quick work of staples, paper clips, and folders, reclaiming employee time previously wasted preparing documents for the shredder. Simply drop them in and walk away.
Based on your needs and volume, we return regularly with our team at the interval of your choice to destroy your documents on-site, preventing unnecessary transportation of your sensitive data, allowing you to be present during the destruction process if you wish.
The bins are then returned empty, back to their original locations ready to be filled for the next shred service. It really doesn’t get any easier than that.
Incorporating regularly scheduled paper shredding services into your workflow creates simple protocols that help your workforce protect sensitive business data with ease.
Distributing secure document drop boxes throughout your office promotes data security best practices, making the process of disposing of confidential documents effortless for employees. This helps you create and implement a shredding policy that is easy to enforce and follow.
Following every paper shredding service, SecureScan provides a Certificate of Destruction, an important document that includes all the pertinent details regarding your shredding service. This document serves as your proof that your documents were destroyed securely and in compliance with data protection laws and regulations, and is the final link in the secure chain of custody.
When you use an office shredder to destroy confidential documents in-house, there is no record to demonstrate what was shredded, when it was shredded, where it has been disposed of and by whom.
In the event of an audit or lawsuit, your business will have a difficult time demonstrating compliance with the many laws designed to protect individuals’ proprietary information.
Let’s face it, your business’s reputation is one of its biggest assets. Most customers assume that the businesses in possession of their personal data will maintain the confidentiality of their information.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The results of a data breach are often devastating to a businesses reputation, degrading customer trust for years to come.
Why take the risk on home grown shredding solutions, when you can hire a company to handle the process for you, all but ensuring your customer data is properly destroyed.
10. Environmentally Friendly
Choosing a shredding company with a “no landfill policy” will ensure that your paper materials are recycled after the shredding process.
While it may not be high on the list of reasons to use a shredding service, sustainability sure is a nice perk.
Instead of your document shreds piling up at your local landfill, most reputable shredding companies will work with recycling facilities in the area to ensure nothing goes to waste, SecureScan included.
All shredded materials are transported to a local recycling plant to be processed and reused to create new paper products, reducing unnecessary waste.
The process takes place without compromising confidentiality, under strict surveillance and security. The last step of the destruction process, the materials are reduced down to their components, with no possibility of recovering any information.
No matter what volume of paper shredding your business needs, the choice is clear: Hiring a professional paper shredding company like SecureScan can alleviate your paper problems. Protect your data by incorporating regular shredding visits into your document management routine, or schedule a one time bulk shredding service to purge unnecessary documents from storage.