In today’s highly technological world, you hear so often about hackers and cybercrime. It’s why businesses are hypersensitive to data breaches and focus heavily on cybersecurity. While this is very important, non-digital theft happens, too. So regardless of how “paperless” your office is, working with a good commercial paper shredding service is vital.
According to research conducted by the Center for Identity at The University of Texas at Austin, non-digital theft is the main driver of identity-related crimes. Here’s why your business can’t afford to ignore document destruction.
Commercial Paper Shredding is the Law
U.S. laws — the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), just to name a few — state that the secure disposal of documents is required by any company that keeps records of people’s personally identifiable information (names, addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers, etc.). When it comes to protecting consumers, companies are legally bound to maintain the highest standards of privacy protection, and the government will not hesitate to issue large fines (sometimes in the millions) to those organizations that do not properly keep consumer data secure.
In Illinois, the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) also protects consumers. PIPA applies to all data collectors operating in Illinois, including government agencies, universities, businesses, financial institutions, and any other entity that deals with non-public, personal information. When there has been a data breach, it requires data collectors to notify people in the most expedient time possible without unreasonable delay. Under PIPA, failure to abide constitutes an unlawful practice under Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Those affected by such failures may pursue civil action for the recovery of real and punitive damages.
You’ll Lose Your Customers’ Trust — And Their Business
Today’s consumers are sensitive to identify theft, too. Competition is fierce and customers will stop buying from a business if it loses their personal information. According to a survey conducted by OnePoll, 86% of customers would stop doing business with an organization that suffered a data breach. If you fail to protect your customers’ information, you’ll face fines from federal and state governments, but more importantly, you’ll face the incalculable cost of a damaged reputation.
Understand your responsibilities under federal and state laws. Then, make a plan. A well-designed commercial paper shredding and document destruction program will help you protect customers’ privacy, avoid fines, and protect your reputation. It will also reduce the cost of storing unnecessary or outdated records. But don’t go it alone. Work with a trusted, professional shredding partner who can provide secure shredding bins, schedule regular pick-ups, and provide a Certificate of Destruction upon completion.
What to Look for in a Shredding Partner
In-house shredding may seem like a quick and easy option, but it comes with great costs and risks. Using an office paper shredder is a time-consuming process fraught with the potential for human error. You have to remove paper clips, staples, sticky notes, cardstock, file folders, and/or binders. Then, you have to separate the documents into easily-shredded portions. Once you shred the documents, you have to properly dispose of the shreds (making sure you don’t leave anything behind and that all the shreds are safely delivered to a secure trash receptacle). And that doesn’t even factor in the extra time required to fix paper jams! When employee labor costs and lost productivity are factored into your in-house shredding program, your company loses money each time your staff shreds documents.
More importantly, in-house shredding is risky. Employees who are short on time may avoid office shredders and just throw documents in a trash can or recycling bin instead of properly destroying them. This greatly increases your exposure to privacy breaches that can lead to the aforementioned fines and damaged reputation.
A good commercial paper shredding provider is NAID AAA Certified. This means that the shredding company offers verifiable methods for ensuring the expedient and secure disposal of confidential material. In order to achieve NAID AAA Certification, a shredding company must pass strict audit requirements, and be protected and monitored with quality security systems. All employees are screened, and when they collect and destroy your documents, a chain of custody procedures are consistently followed throughout the entire process, start to finish. The entire shredding process is recorded to video and stored for 90 days, and you’ll receive a Certificate of Destruction for your records to serve as proof of compliance with the regulatory requirements affecting your business.
No business can meet these stringent standards alone. Your business can’t afford to operate without a commercial paper shredding and document destruction plan. Use a NAID AAA Certified secure shredding company like Paper Tiger as your partner.Back to Blog