Here’s a sad fact. We know that there are a lot of companies out there who don’t shred their documents (well, it’s sad to us). True, there are less now that GDPR has basically made it a requirement, but there are still some rebels who don’t follow the rules. But what we find sadder than that is the sheer number of businesses who still do their shredding in-house. For 99% of businesses, this is a hugely inefficient process (unless you happen to be a shredding company), wastes a lot of time and isn’t that secure. But those businesses persevere, because they believe it’s saving them money. After all, they’re not paying a company to do it, so it’s not costing them anything, right? We’re here today to tell you just how wrong they are.
You might think that because the paper never leaves your office, it’s a more secure way of disposing of confidential information. But really, it’s anything but. This is mainly because in order to be deemed ‘secure’ by laws like GDPR, shredding needs to have a set of stringent controls and processes to ensure no confidential information is leaked, lost or stolen during the process. And unless you happen to be a shredding company yourself, it’s unlikely your business has those controls in place – and it would be a waste of financial resources to try and put them in place, not to mention put a significant dent in your bank balance.
Despite the widespread message that strip cut shredders are bad, they still make up the majority of office or home shredders – usually because they’re less cumbersome and cheaper to buy. But the main reason strip cut shredders are bad is because they are a massive security risk. The strips of paper can be easily reassembled by anyone with enough time and dedication to the task, giving any criminal willing to go through your recycle bin all of the information they could ever want on you, your business and your customers.
Proof of Destruction
Under the Data Protection Act, and now the GDPR that has replaced it, businesses are required to provide a full audit trail on every piece of data you hold on an individual. They are also required, if asked, to destroy that information securely, and provide proof of destruction for it. For that job, nothing is better than a shredder. But how can your business provide proof that it was destroyed? Short of filming it being shredded, your options are limited. But with a service like ours, you will be provided with a fully compliant certificate of destruction, confirming that you’ve met your legal obligations with a single piece of paper.
Most office shredders can handle a few pieces of paper at a time, and they’re fine with that. But when you start adding things like staples, binding or paperclips into the mix, they start to struggle. That means you’ve either got to pay someone to spend their time painstakingly removing all of these things before feeding paper to the shredder 5 pieces at a time, or you risk some pretty hefty repair cost for your shredder. Or, you could just put all of it in a bag and let the industrial shredders take care of it.
This one is really simple – DIY shredding requires someone to physically do the shredding. And employees who spend time shredding have less time for the tasks they were hired to do. So in one way or another, you are still paying for the shredding to be done – and often the wages are much higher than the fees of an outsourced shredding company.
Shredders, while fairly low key little things, do require maintenance, particularly if they’re used a lot. Ongoing repairs, servicing and attention are all needed to make sure they run properly and are actually destroying data, not just mangling it up a bit. If a paperclip gets lodged in the teeth, it could cost you a pretty penny to get repaired, or replaced. But with an outsourced shredding service, you don’t need to worry about that.
As we mentioned earlier, typical office shredders can usually only cope with 5 pieces of paper at a time. Which is fine if that’s all you’re doing. Not so fine if you’re a solicitors office with 1000+ page documents you need to destroy. All you end up with them are a lot of frustrating hours spent in front of a shredder and wondering why you’re bothering, when an outsourced service could do it all for you in a fraction of the time.
Finally – people make mistakes. Without policies, processes or training, mistakes are inevitable. Whether that’s missing a paperclip and causing damage to the machine, shredding the wrong thing or not shredding something, errors do occur. Over 874 security incidents every year are caused by employee error or negligence with data. Don’t let yours be next – hire an expert instead.
So what are you waiting for? Stop trying to cut costs (and actually increase them with the effort) and start protecting your business. Outsourced shredding with an expert like us is a simple, painless and cheaper alternative to taking on all that risk and work yourself, plus it’s better for the environment too! For more information on outsourcing your shredding needs, just get in touch with the Hungry Shredder team today.