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Recycling Your IT – What, Why And How?

We talk a lot about the benefits of shredding and recycling your documentation. It’s secure, environmentally friendly and a great way to keep up with green initiatives. But have you ever thought about what happens to your computer and IT equipment when you no longer need it? When you just throw it away, it ends up in a landfill site or incinerator, adding to the 3,140,000 tons of e-waste we produce each year. But just because you have no use for a computer anymore, doesn’t mean it can’t be useful to someone else. Not to mention the security risks that come with throwing away hard drives full of personal, confidential information. So how does recycling your IT help protect your business and the environment?

Why Recycle IT Equipment?

 

Think about how much information is stored on your hard drive. Every file you’ve ever saved, every search you’ve ever made and every password you’ve ever typed. Even your deleted files are still there, buried deep in the memory banks of your computer. If you just threw all of that away, you could be putting it straight in the hands of criminals, who will use it to defraud your business, steal from you or even impersonate you and your company. Recycling your computer equipment starts with destroying it – breaking it down into pieces so small that they cannot be reassembled, so you can be sure that your data is safe.

It’s also a way your business can contribute to a cleaner environment. Computer equipment recycling and refurbishing is an important part of an organisation’s sustainable waste strategy. Businesses are encouraged to dispose of their IT equipment in an environmentally responsible way – in other words, recycling. There are even governmental regulations in place to deal with hazardous electronics (think the WEEE directive) and multiple ways of disposing of other electronics safely. These can then be reused and turned into new equipment, replacing the need for even more natural resources.

 How Is IT Equipment Recycled?

 

Fortunately, IT equipment is relatively easy to recycle, if slightly time consuming. When full machines like laptops, servers or PC’s are sent for recycling, they are first picked apart and stripped of all the useful whole components, like motherboards and microchips. One everything has been salvaged, the rest of the machine can then be fed through an industrial grade shredder, like ours. The resulting shreds are a mixture of materials, and these are sent to a recycling plant, who separate them out using large magnets and other sorting devices. This way the plastics can all be sent to be melted and repurposed, the metals can be sorted and sent away and the glass can be broken down and melted to make new glass.

If you don’t have a full machine to recycle, but instead a hard drive to destroy, we can help you there. Many people choose to sell on their old computers for parts, removing the hard drives first so they aren’t giving away any data. This approach is great for data security, but essentially leaves you with a hunk of metal and no use for it. If this happens, you can bring the hard drive to our secure shredding facilities, to be shredded and recycled into new computer parts.

What Can Be Recycled?

 

The good news is – almost anything. Most parts of a basic computer set up and IT system can be recycled, from monitors and PCs to servers and laptops. Even peripherals such as printers, scanners, telephones, mice, keyboards and hard drives.  Some types of computing equipment will need particular expertise to recycle, like PCs, which tend to have a lot of heavy metal in their circuitry. From these elements, recycling teams can salvage plastic, ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, electronic boards, glass and even gold.

Of course, you may not need to recycle your IT systems that often, so you may not know exactly what you need to do, or who you need to talk to. For more information on shredding and recycling your computer and IT equipment, or advice on what to do next, get in touch with us today.

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Keeping The Data Elves Happy This Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly, to shop and to eat, to make friends and reconnect with old ones. It’s also the time that Santa and his crew are busy buying and wrapping presents for all the mums, dads, brothers, sisters and friends out there. But did you know that Santa has a secret squad, known only as the Data Elves, who spend the months leading up to Christmas whizzing around trying to make sure your personal data stays safe every time you type it into a shopping site? Well, this year the Data Elves contacted us directly, as they have some tips to help your data stay safe and keep them happy this year.

 

Be Careful With Your Receipts

November and December are what we like to call the ‘month of the killer receipts’. That’s because even if you don’t usually keep your receipts, Christmas causes people to hoard them. We want to make sure we have the receipt to take our Christmas lights back if they are faulty, and we squirrel away receipts for gifts just in case the gift isn’t wanted, or turns out to be a duplicate. But while the Data Elves say that it’s a good idea to keep these receipts, your wallet might not be the best place for them. With all the flurry of Christmas shopping and constant opening and closing, receipts can easily fall out of your wallet and find their way into someone else’s hands. A receipt might not seem like much, but it contains a lot of information about you that can be used for criminal activities, including defrauding stores into giving fake refunds. Store your receipts somewhere safe at home – like a small lockbox or a file, and make sure you shred them when the warranty has run out or the gift has proven a hit.

 

Stay Vigilant Online

Every year, the number of people doing their shopping online goes up, and this year is no exception. In fact, only 10% of people say they don’t do any of their shopping online at Christmas. With mobiles forming 80% of internet searches, online shopping has never been so easy. Needless to say, this is fairly common knowledge, and cyber criminals will use this information to their advantage. Try to avoid shopping online in public places this Christmas – most public Wi-Fi hotspots don’t encrypt their data, making it simple for criminals to pluck your information from the coffee shop next door. You should also be extra vigilant about what links you visit too. The Data Elves have discovered that many URL’s are shrunk to fit mobiles, which is great for usability, but not so much for security. It’s much harder to tell that a URL is fake when it has been shortened to a bit.ly link, because you can’t look out for the obvious clues like misspellings or odd domains. And because mobile devices don’t have the robust anti-virus software computers do, they are much more susceptible to malware infections and viruses. If you’re ever in doubt, type in the full link to where you want to go in your search bar and go there manually. It might take a little more time, but it’s worth it to save your device from infection.

 

Don’t Click On The Links!

As we have already mentioned, the Data Elves have noticed that more and more people are shopping online this Christmas, and that means millions of order confirmations are being sent to inboxes across the UK. But let us ask you this – do you know exactly what you’ve ordered, from where? It’s a busy time of year all round, and that means people are less guarded when it comes to emails like this. So scammers are capitalising on this by creating fake emails based around internet ordering. These will often say that there has been a problem with your order, or your payment was declined, providing you with a link to click on and re-enter your information. At passing glance to a busy person this will seem credible, when in reality they have just handed their credit card numbers and address to a criminal. Make sure you are extra careful when clicking in links in emails this month. If you receive an email like this, the Data Elves recommend not clicking on the link, but instead going to your web browser and visiting what you know to be the genuine site. If nothing is amiss with your order there, report the email to their fraud team and delete it.

 

Christmas is a time for happiness and joy and no one wants that to be ruined by a huge credit card bill turning up – especially when you didn’t spend the money. So make sure you take some basic steps to stay safe this Christmas, make sure the Data Elves stay happy and your data stays safe where it belongs. For more information about keeping your data safe, or to order some shredding sacks to destroy your personal information, get in touch today.

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What Information Do Identity Thieves Crave?

For most of us, identity theft is one of those awful things that we hope will never happen to us. We hear stories about it all the time, but we think ‘it won’t ever happen to me’. And it probably won’t, until it does. The problem is that there is so much information out there that it can be difficult to figure out what it worth protecting and what can safely be thrown in the bin. So we wanted to show you just some of the information that identity thieves are looking for – and some of it might not be what you think.

Your Hobbies, Club Memberships Or Employer 

Let’s start off with an unusual one. Most people aren’t quite as careful about protecting their gym membership as they are their more private data, but this can be a key piece of information for any identity thief just starting their hunt. By finding out what organisations you belong to, places you go to do your hobbies or the name of your employer, a thief can use this to impersonate you when speaking to the organisations to gain more information. Worse still, they could employ it in various phishing scams, impersonating the club, organisation and employer. The basic idea behind this is that people are much more likely to respond to a phone call or email scam when they appear to be from the group they belong to. This data is an easy target for them, as we rarely protect these details as well as we should.

Your Bank

At this stage, the thief isn’t looking for specifics, they just want to know where you hold your financial accounts. This is for a similar reason to the above – to leverage this information when pretexting (pretending to be you) or phishing. The thieves will often study how your financial institution communicate with its customers in order to make their scam appear more genuine. In general, be incredibly wary of ANY email that asks you to provide additional information, even if it looks real. Genuine banks will never ask you to type you card details, even in part. Always play it safe by visiting a branch or calling their helpline, as they will quickly be able to tell you if there is a genuine problem.

Your Passport Number

A simple passport number, when combined with an illegal database can provide thieves with a wealth of information on you. Your passport number can reveal your full name, date of birth, place of birth, nationality and more. All gold to a data thief looking to steal your identity. If your physical passport is stolen, the consequences mount up quickly, with the thieves able to open up accounts internationally and a lot of complex problems for you to deal with. The sad thing is, many people still just throw away old passports, meaning thieves just need to sift through some rubbish to get their hands on a goldmine of information.

Your Address

While physical addresses are rarely used as a medium for phishing scams anymore, there is still the risk of receiving ‘bait mail’ through the post. There is not much you can do about this, except be savvy and shred any junk you do receive. What is far more sinister is that your physical address coupled with, say your full name and date of birth gives a thief the ability to initiate a change of address with your providers, effectively rerouting all of your post (and the information within) to a location of your choice. They could of course simply visit your home to steal post, rubbish or information directly from you.

How Do You Protect Your Data?

While all of that sounds very scary (believe me, we have nightmares about it!) it is relatively easy to prevent. You simply need to be cautious about what information you give out, and make sure you aren’t throwing personal information in the bin. Instead of just chucking junk mail in the bin, make sure every piece goes through a shredder, so no one can get their hands on your address. If you don’t have a shredder, get in touch with us and we can provide you with convenient shredding sacks. All you need to do is put all your sensitive information into it, and we will shred it for you in a secure location. For more information or to arrange your own shredding sacks, get in touch with us today.

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How Many Documents Does It Take To Change A Sack?

At Hungry Shredder, we are all about making sure your sensitive information and documents are disposed of securely, without the hassle and mess of feeding them into the home or office shredder. We’ve helped hundreds of business owners and home residents stay on top of their shredding needs and protect themselves against identity theft, fraud and financial loss, all by supplying a simple sack. But how does a sack do all of this, and how often do you really need a new one?

What Is A Shredding Sack?

A shredding sack is pretty much what it says on the tin (well, sack). Our jumbo ‘drop-off’ paper sacks are large, sealable storage sacks that can easily and discreetly fit into your home or business. Thanks to a ‘block bottom’ they are completely free standing, so they can be stored anywhere from next to your desk to in a cupboard or large drawer. The sacks are incredibly durable, standing up to everyday use and can support a large amount of weight (around 10kg per sack). Each sack is 60cm tall, 48cm wide and 13cm deep, allowing for the perfect storage of paper before shredding. All you have to do is fill it, seal it and arrange a convenient drop-off time that suits you. Our unique shredding sacks have been manufactured to be completely recyclable, so they can be shredded along with their contents.

Our ‘collection’ sacks are slightly different, made out of extremely tough plastic with a permanent seal for ultimate security.  Similar to our ‘drop off’ sacks, all you have to do is fill it, seal it but then for even greater convenience, arrange a collection time that suits you and have it picked up from your home or office.

So Why Do I Need One? 

That’s all well and good, but why do you need a shredding sack in the first place? Well, have you ever spent hours bent over an office shredder, feeding in page after page and staring longingly at the clock? Sadly, this is a reality for many businesses and home owners who have all sorts of confidential information written down. Sensitive information like addresses, names, credit card information or bank details all need to be disposed of correctly in order to avoid identity theft or, if you’re in business, fulfil your legal obligations. But instead of struggling with the shredder, Hungry Shredder has a better option. Just order some of our shredding sacks through our website, fill them up and let us do the rest. Your secure shredding sacks can be collected directly from your home or business, or you can drop them off at our convenient secure shredding centre. The bags are then fed through an industrial grade, hyper secure shredding machine to ensure complete destruction, and you are provided with a certificate of destruction to prove it. So instead of wasting hours shredding your documents yourself, spend seconds putting them in a bag and know that your data is safe and will be completely destroyed. 

How Often Do I Need To Order A New Sack?

How often you will need a new sack for your paperwork depends very much on how much paper you use and throw away. For residential users, a single shredding sack can last upwards of a month, especially for those who have a lot of their paperwork available online now. But for a business one sack often doesn’t last that long. If you have a shredding sack next to your desk, or by your office waste bin, you will find yourself throwing all sorts of miscellaneous paperwork in there because it is easy, convenient and secure. Not to mention it will be recycled instead of sent to landfill. If there are a lot of people in your business, a single sack sometimes won’t even last a day! So gauge the size of your business and maybe even do a test – ask everyone to put all the paperwork they would normally throw away on a particular day onto one desk or in a specified box instead, and see just how much you are accruing in a day. This gives you a good benchmark for how many sacks you will need for the office, and how regularly you will need to order new ones. Remember, each sack holds 10Kg (or 22lb) of paper, which is equal to around 600 sheets.

For more information on our shredding services, or our jumbo paper sacks, just get in touch with one of the team today or visit our website to order yours today.

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Is The Paper Receipt Becoming A Thing Of The Past?

No matter how ‘paperless’ we try to go, the world will still keep trying to throw paper into our lives. Case in point – every time you go shopping you will be given a printed paper receipt, varying in length depending on how much you’ve bought. Our wallets are purses are often bursting with reams of paper, many of which end up going through the shredder without a second glance. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way to record our purchases without such a waste of paper?

What’s The Real Cost Of The Humble Receipt?

In the UK, over 11 billion receipts are printed every single year. Creating this number of receipts uses over 250 million gallons of oil, 10 million trees and 1 billion gallons of water each year. It’s a completely unsustainable model for something that largely goes unwanted or unused. For many people receipts are a sure fire way to bloat your wallet, being cleared out and shredded in a monthly (or yearly for some) purge without even being looked at. Very few people need receipts for everything they purchase, instead preferring to only keep receipts relating to major purchases – and even then only until the warranty has run out. But despite this, receipts have remained a staple for all retailers – an expected result of spending money. Even if a retailer asks you ‘do you want the receipt?’ as many do nowadays – that receipt still prints even if you say no. They just throw it away instead of giving it to you. So in a bid to revolutionise the buying process and protect our environment, there have been some really interesting trials taking place.

Testing The Waters

receipt2As we speak, retail giant Tesco are trialling a system where an e-receipt is sent to customers, instead of being printed out at the till point. This allows the customer to keep a digital log of the purchase and eliminates the need for paper receipts. Tesco are not the first to trial this new system, which has retailers send a digital receipt to a customer’s email address or a specifically designed mobile phone app called ‘Tap And Tag’. This app can be linked with contactless cards, so that when the card is used the receipt is sent directly to the app without prompting. The system could also be modified to work with loyalty cards for individual stores, which have this information filed already. There is also an option for a ‘short receipt’ for those who need it, which is a tenth of the size of a standard receipt.

Apple stores were the trailblazer for this system, which they began using in 2005. Debenhams and TopShop followed suit in 2015, while still keeping the option for a paper receipt to be printed. Retailers suggest that the system allows customers to keep all of their receipts in one place, making shopping easier and more convenient. They also mention that the data cannot be used for marketing or other purposes, as all data is stored anonymously. By using the ‘Tap and Tag’ or other digital receipt systems, retailers have found that time is saved at the till, waste and paper consumption is reduced and customers enjoy a more relaxed shopping experience.

But is this the end of the paper receipt? According to many experts, not quite. People still enjoy seeing the money they have saved and the ability to check that they haven’t been overcharged for anything in the store. Many businesses still require paper receipts for expenses, so paper receipts will still be needed by many. At Hungry Shredder we understand the issues around paper consumption, which is why we do our best to reduce the impact you (and we) have on the environment. Our secure shredding service not only helps you run an efficient, eco-friendly office, but all paper and materials shredded by us are recycled and turned into new materials, saving trees and other natural resources.  For more information or to find out about our eco-friendly shredding solutions, get in touch today.

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Understanding Business Identity Theft

Think that identity theft only hits individuals or the elderly? Think again. Thieves and criminals are targeting small and medium sized businesses all across the UK and the USA for quick and easy profit, with devastating consequences. In an age where digital information is freely available it’s a serious risk, so you need to know the facts before your business becomes the next victim of corporate identity theft.

What Is Corporate Identity Theft?

Identity crimes have evolved far beyond a crime of opportunity by petty thieves and drug users – it’s now a preferred criminal activity turned big business with more profit rolling in every year. Criminals ranging from street gangs to drug cartel to organised crime syndicates have actively embraced identity theft and cybercrime as key money making enterprises with low risk. Through this, thieves have learnt that business identities can also be stolen, and unsuspecting businesses can be very easy targets. But before we explain how corporate identity theft works, we need to explain exactly what it is. You see, just because a business has suffered a data breach doesn’t mean that their identity has been stolen. Data breach doesn’t automatically mean identity theft. Instead, like it’s consumer counterpart, corporate identity theft involves actual impersonation of the business itself. In fact, the term ‘corporate identity theft’ is misleading in itself, as corporations aren’t the only business entities victimised by this crime. Any type of business or organisation of any size or legal structure, from sole proprietorships, to partnerships and limited companies, government bodies, schools, trusts and non-profits can all be targeted by identity thieves.

Why Businesses Are Good Targets

When it comes to identity theft, criminals are faced with 2 avenues – individual or corporate. For most, the individual route is left to small time thieves, while the more professional, ambitious breed will go after corporates, non-profits and businesses.  But to understand why businesses make good targets for identity theft, you need to look at the gains and profits from the criminals point of view. For example, businesses tend to have:

Bigger Bank Accounts 

Business customers routinely maintain much larger bank account balances than your average consumer, and for good reason. Cash flow is a huge issue for all businesses, so the smart business owner will build up a buffer of cash in reserve. The average small business account may have between £5000 and £10,000 in it at any one time, with larger businesses sometimes keeping tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds in their accounts. When you compare this to the average consumer account of around £200-£500, it’s not hard to see why businesses make an attractive target. 

Flexible Payment Terms 

Because of their larger purchases, many businesses enjoy flexible payment terms or credit, allowing them to order and obtain goods or services before paying for them at a later date. For a criminal, this means they can make large purchases without paying a thing and disappear before the payment is due. They can also avoid the risk of early detection that comes with using a stolen credit card of cheque when the order is placed. 

Minimal Security

Small businesses are especially vulnerable, as many don’t have the most robust security in place. If they don’t have their own IT department, or they are overrun with tasks, keeping up the security needed can be challenging, and that’s what criminals are counting on. Targeted attacks exploit holes in the software smaller businesses use, while intercepting or stealing information in letters can give them all the information they need to start imitating your business.

Easily Available Information

The scary thing is, business identity thieves don’t even need to steal much of the information they need to impersonate a business, because so much of it is freely available now. Just go to Companies House and see how much information is freely available about your business thanks to the information age. All a criminal has to do is steal a few pieces of specific, targeted information and they’re away.

 

One of the ways corporate identity thieves get those last pieces of information is by accessing documents that have been thrown away or improperly stored. Bank details, for example, that have been put in the wrong place present an enormous risk, which is why it’s so important to stay on top of your secure document disposal. If you need help handing your shredding get in touch with us today for a free consultation.

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Taking Shredding Digital – Shredding Hard Drives

We talk a lot about shredding confidential documents and other paperwork, but do you ever think about the other things in your life that contain sensitive information? In the modern age we tend to keep a lot of information on our phones and computers, but give little thought to what data stays on the device after a ‘system reset’. Amazingly, it’s much more data than you would think. That’s why you should always remove your hard drive before you sell your old computer or laptop.

Why Shred Your Old Hard Drives?

Shredding a hard drive is the only way to ensure that the data on it can never be retrieved (short of investing in a very large magnet). Many people think that if you format your hard drive, you are erasing the data from it. This isn’t the case – as this only clears the re-writable areas. There are still many areas of your hard drive that formatting doesn’t cover. To illustrate this, a group of students from MIT bought 258 used, formatted hard drives on eBay. Using some basic, freely available forensic software they were able to recover over 5000 credit and debit card numbers, medical records, social security numbers and other highly sensitive information. Running a magnet over your hard drive won’t wipe it clean either, as you would need a magnet with a pull force of at least 450 pounds to have any effect. But with a pull force like that you would only be successful because you’d have destroyed everything else in the room as well.

How Does It Work?

hard drive shreddingUnfortunately, hard drives won’t go through your average office shredder! Instead you need professional grade equipment to destroy your hard drive completely. But unless you are a big office that goes through computers really quickly, you probably won’t have lots of hard drives building up just waiting to be destroyed. So instead, you will need to order a one off hard drive destruction service from your local, friendly shredding company. It’s not an expensive service, and often the shredding service will offer collection of free postage for you. Once the hard drive has been collected, it will be taken away to a secure shredding facility and destroyed. Our robust metal shredders are specifically designed to tackle tough electronics, so the actual shredding process will look something like this. Once it has been destroyed and the data rendered irretrievable, you will be sent a certificate of destruction and video evidence of destruction if you requested it. The remains of the hard drive can then be picked apart and recycled into new metals and computer parts.

If you’ve been stockpiling old computers and laptops instead of getting rid of them, hard drive shredding provides the perfect solution for you. Shredding your hard drive protects your business against digital data theft in the most realistic way possible – by completely destroying the data. Computers and laptops without hard drives can still be sold on to recoup costs or make a profit, but with the knowledge that your data is safe. If you’re not sure how to remove the hard drive from your computer, check out our guide here. If you need someone to dispose of your old hard drives, or just want to find out more about our shredding solutions, get in touch with one of our team today.

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Click And Collect – Shredding Made Easy

We talk a lot about shredding on this blog, and this post is no exception! But today we wanted to introduce you to our newest service. We’re very excited about this addition to our line, as it has been in high demand for quite some time. Now, as well as offering a drop off service for your document shredding, we can also offer a courier collection service, so you don’t even need to leave your house or office to make sure your documents are being shredded safely.

What Is Courier Collection Shredding?

Secure and confidential disposal of paperwork isn’t always easy for small businesses, and it’s not much better for the average home owner either. Small businesses usually have confidential documents they are legally required to dispose of safely, while security conscious home shredders are left with a pile of shredded paper and nothing to do with it! Dealing with this can become pretty expensive if you need to dispose of it yourself, and many companies will only offer large disposal bins, which could take months to fill.

Our new courier service is the ‘Click And Collect’ of shredding services – except it’s us doing the collecting! Instead of having to wait for a shredding truck to visit you or taking your paper to shred yourself, you can simply order a tough, reasonably sized collections sack (or 2, or more!) and fill it up. From there simply contact our office and arrange your collection time. A dedicated UPS driver will then arrive at your home or business premises to take away your waste for shredding and disposal. We will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction as standard as legal proof that your documents have been destroyed, and we can even provide video proof of destruction for a small added fee.

Why Should I Try Courier Collection?

With many shredding services you don’t get too many options – you can either have a large shredding truck visit your premises, or you can take all of your shredding to the centre yourself.  Depending on where you are, it might not be practical to have a huge vehicle come to your premises or home. You might be on a residential road or crammed into a narrow roadway, or simply not want to disturb your neighbours. Similarly, you may not be able to take your shredding to a centre yourself. If you are a residential customer you may not be able to drive, not have time or have too much waste to fit in your car. If you are a business customer, time is money and you may end up sacrificing a member of staff for a full day to do several runs to and from a centre that might not be that close to you.

If you’re interested and would like to try out our courier collection service, we would love to help you out. We are currently offering 25% off orders for our new service, so you can try it out at a reduced price, but this is for a limited time only! Just visit the product page, select the package you would like and you’re done. If you take advantage of our introductory offer we’ll even walk you through the process and book your collections ourselves, so you can just sit back and relax. So what are you waiting for? Try out the easiest way to destroy your confidential information safely.

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Why Shred At All?

With modern life demanding so much of us, little things we should be doing often slip through the net. This could be something as simple as forgetting to do the washing up at night, or it could be something more important, like shredding our junk mail or old paperwork from the office. In fact, there are still people out there who believe that they don’t need to shred anything at all, or that they can achieve the same level of security with a pair of scissors and a black bin bag (spoiler, you can’t). But there are a few reasons why you should make shredding part of your daily routine in the office.

It’s The Law

The first and most important reason to remember to do your shredding – it’s a legal requirement. We don’t even need to talk benefits at this stage, it’s simply something you have to do. The Data Protection Act states that every business has a legal obligation to protect the confidential information of its customers and employees. As a sub clause of this act, organisations must routinely employ a data destruction service to destroy redundant confidential information, whatever format it is held in. As if that wasn’t enough, the Information Commissioner’s Office now has the power to fine your business up to £500,000 if you lose someone’s confidential information.

Time And Money 

If you’ve decided that it’s time to your monthly shred, your next step is actually doing it. This is where a lot of businesses fall down, and where our confidential document destruction services come in handy. To illustrate, let’s look at your options:

  • Give one of your employees the job of putting down their normal work and have them remove staples and paperclips from your shredding pile, sort card from paper and finally spend hours stood over the office shredder to get rid of it.
  • Make a phone call to your certified confidential shredder, who will shred all of your documents in a matter of minutes using industrial machinery.

Be honest, you picked number 2 didn’t you? That’s because it makes no sense for you to spend time and money shredding materials instead of just making a phone call. For every 8 hours your poor employee spends shredding, our industrial machines can tackle the same volume of paper in just minutes, with no need to prepare the paper by removing staples or sorting. So instead have your staff doing the job you pay them for, and leave the shredding to the professionals.

Doing Your Bit For The Planet

Of course, we couldn’t give you reasons for shredding without mentioning the environment. If you went with option 1 earlier, what does your employee do with that paper when they’re finished? Many businesses would simply throw it away with the normal rubbish. But by using a certified shredder, we can protect your business and the environment at the same time. We recycle 99% of the paper we shred, promoting reuse and cutting down the need for new products to be made. For every tonne of paper, we recycle, 7000 gallons of water is saved, between 17 and 31 trees aren’t cut down, 4000 KWh of electricity is saved and 60 pounds of airborne pollutants are prevented from being released. How’s that for saving the environment?

It’s Common Sense!

No matter what type of business you run, you will be storing confidential data of some sort. Even everyday activates like creating invoices, providing your service to confidential clients or just writing up some meeting notes can generate a huge amount of data that needs to be protected. Just think about how disastrous it would be if one of your competitors got hold of your customer lists or quotes. Or worse, if a criminal found your financial records or employee data. All it takes is one smart criminal or one disgruntled employee and your business is at risk. But if you are routinely shredding sensitive documents, you are reducing the risk of this type of loss occurring.

So if you weren’t shredding your documents before, hopefully you will be now! Not only for the legal reasons, but also because of the hidden benefits to your business that shredding can unlock. For more information about our shredding service or to book your shredding slot, get in touch today.

 

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A Guide To Going Paperless (Almost)

A long time ago, in a land not too far away, a business owner dreamed of a paperless paradise. As he surveyed his domain – a small business with 10 employees all working hard to keep everything working, he sighed. With so many stacks of paper, filing and memos being passed around, how could his dream of a clean, eco-friendly and secure office possibly come true? Well, that business owner hadn’t read our guide to going (almost) paperless. He did have one thing right though – it is pretty much impossible for a business to completely eliminate paper, but it is possible to reduce it to almost nothing with a few easy steps.

Invest In Digital Document Management

All across the country there are hundreds of thousands of filing cabinets, all sitting full of paperwork waiting to be found. Some of them will be rifled through regularly to find the relevant documents, while others will be left to gather dust in the corner of the office. The average floor space taken up by 1 filing cabinet is 7.1 square foot, so a business paying £55 per square foot in rent would need to spend £390 a month just to keep that filing cabinet. That’s the cost of physical document management. Digital document management removes not only the cost of keeping physical documents, but the frustration of having to flick through hundreds of documents just to find the one you want. Instead, it stores digital copies of every document in an online central repository, where they can be accessed at any time with the click of a button. You can set up tags for each document to file them by category, file type, client, any system you want. These systems are simple to use and manage while completely eliminating the need for physical document storage.

 

Convert Paper Documents

The decision you now face is whether to use your document management system going forward, or whether to apply it retroactively to all of your existing paperwork. We strongly recommend doing the latter, as this will allow you to have everything in one place as opposed to split between filing cabinets and servers. It also means you can get rid of the filing cabinet and encourage employees to stop generating paper. If you choose to move your current paper documents into a document management system, you will need to convert them to digital format. This will take some time in front of a scanner, but does provide a good opportunity to examine what documentation you need to keep and what can be discarded. Once you have scanned the documents, the system can then extract the relevant information and store them for you, making it a much simpler process.

 

Dispose Of Paperwork Securely

Once all of your documents have been scanned and categorised, you will be left with a rather large pile of unnecessary paperwork.  Some of this will contain sensitive or confidential information about employees, clients or suppliers, so it’s important it’s disposed of correctly. Rather than sending someone to sit hunched over the shredder for hours, hire an external shredding company to collect the paperwork and dispose of it securely.  By using our services, you are saving yourself a lot of time and money while ensuring you stay compliant with the laws on data protection. One of our state of the art shredding vehicles can come directly to your office so you can witness your documentation being destroyed without leaving your premises. You will be presented with a certificate of destruction to prove your adherence to legislation, and your shredded paper will be taken away for recycling into new paper products – so it’s environmentally friendly as well!

 

Implement A Clean Desk Policy 

Now that you have a paper-free office, you need to work on keeping it that way. Remaining paperless for a few days is relatively easy, but keeping up with a paperless office long term can be a difficult task. Clean desk policies are a great way of ensuring that no unnecessary paperwork is created. Clean desk policies include guidelines on paper use, specifically that no paperwork should be left on desks, no documents should be printed unless absolutely necessary and any paperwork should be destroyed or placed within a secure shredding cabinet as soon as it has been used. Thanks to advances in digital signature software and other programmes, there is now very little need for any document to be printed off in the average office. Any documents that are printed in house or delivered in paper format can be used, scanned into the system and then placed into a secure shredding console to await a routine shredding visit for maximum security.

 

Encourage Use Of Digital Collaboration Tools 

In your journey from document overload into a paperless paradise, it’s important to not just swap a physical mess for a digital one. Management of your digital archives is important, so make sure you brief everyone within your business on the system, how it works and what you expect them to use it for. Encourage the use of digital tools like Evernote, Trello and Wrike for to-do lists, collaboration on projects and storage of miscellaneous documentation, rather than using post-it notes or notebooks. Instead of printing documents to work on as a group, suggest collaboration tools such as Google or Office 365 to allow multiple people to work on one document at once.

Depending on what type of business you run, you may not be able to avoid paper coming into your office, or being generated there. But what you can do is ensure that no paperwork is kept longer than necessary and that everything is shredded once it has been digitised, saving you space and money. For more information on how we can help you go and stay paperless, or to book your own paperwork in to be shredded, get in touch with us today.