Have you noticed how many data security breaches are making the headlines these days? More and more businesses are discovering that not only is their digital data at risk, but digital crimes are being traced back to physical documentation. To combat this, a growing number of businesses are looking into ways they can improve their document security policies. The problem is that many businesses fall into 1 of 2 categories when it comes to document destruction. They either wrote the policy when they first started up and haven’t looked at it since, or they don’t have one at all. With the amount of data businesses handle every day still increasing, it’s no longer acceptable to just go along without paying attention to your secure document handling obligations.
Getting A Handle On Your Document Handling Policies
From sensitive candidate information being left on an open desk, important files being left on trains and confidential documents being thrown in recycling bins, every company has their horror stories about when important, sensitive information goes missing. Sometimes this is down to employee absent mindedness or sloppy work (which sometimes isn’t avoidable) but in some cases it’s actually the policies and procedures that are at fault. Employee are trained to follow the rules and regulations of the workplace, so it is your job to make sure those rules are clear. If your policy says paper gets recycled (and nothing else), then of course your employees are going to put everything in there. Take some time to go through your policies and specifically address how employees should destroy confidential documents. Define what constitutes as sensitive information within your policies, how it should be handled and the consequences should it be misused. This is a good time to revaluate your procedures and decide whether you want to implement an in-house shredding policy or bring in an outsourced company to ease the burden on your team.
In House Shredding Options
For smaller businesses of one man bands it is incredibly tempting to just buy a basic shredder from the supermarket, stick it in the corner of the office and say that is your document destruction solution. After all, it only costs you around £30 to buy a shredder now, so why shouldn’t you? Well the first downside is that your average small ‘home grade’ shredder is only strip cut, which is the least secure form of shredding there is. They also suffer from ‘you get what you pay for’ syndrome. These little shredders are great for someone shredding post and bank statements, but they aren’t really built to cope with big quantities of paper, so will likely give up the ghost fairly quickly. They also can’t handle materials tougher than paper, like staples or paperclips, making it a chore for you to go through removing them before shredding. The same goes for shredding hard drives – an essential for any office upgrading its machinery. But even if you do invest in a more expensive, robust model, you still have to spend a lot of time and energy actually shredding things. Plus, just shredding your documents doesn’t make your business legally compliant with data protection laws, you’ve got to dispose of it properly too.
How Does Outsourced Shredding Work?
Outsourced shredding has been a saviour to millions of small, medium and large businesses when it comes to disposing of their documentation. It doesn’t cost a lot as there are no monthly fees – instead you just pay for what you shred. You are given bags or secure cabinets to fill with your documents ready for shredding, so all your employees have to do is put them in the right containers instead of shredding them themselves. At a time agreed by you they will either be collected and taken away, or a shredding truck will roll up to shred them in front of you, so you know they are actually being destroyed. These industrial strength shredding machines are much finer and stronger than your average home shredder, and can cut anything you throw in to small, confetti like pieces. You will be given a certificate of destruction which confirms you have been legally compliant with your document destruction, and the shredded materials are mixed with hundreds of other peoples before being taken away and disposed of properly. Outsourced shredded services like ours have been specially developed to be easy for businesses to use and take the hassle out of document destruction.
Document destruction and data protection are issues that every business faces, but that doesn’t mean they have to be difficult. Complying with the Data Protection Act is actually quite simple, all it takes is some common sense and a little knowledge. At Hungry Shredder we understand how to help your business not only understand the law, but how to stay on the right side of it as well. For more information or to book a consultation, get in touch today.