In today’s digital age, we all see a lot of headlines about hacking and online data and identity theft. However, access to online data isn’t the only way thieves and unsavory types gather private information; they can also commit identity theft by using data they find while pilfering through paperwork tossed out by or stolen from businesses.
Commercial paper shredding is a service that is essential to helping protect information such as documented business processes, employee data, and client data. But should you shred everything or be selective? Does it make more sense to sort through all of your documents and select certain items to destroy or simply shred everything after set intervals of time?
Both selective shredding and a policy of shredding everything have pros and cons. Here’s what you need to know to decide which approach is best for your business.
Selective shredding requires your company to set specific guidelines about what type of documents should be destroyed and when. This requires putting a detailed system in place and training all employees with access to sensitive documents to ensure the system is carried out properly.
The benefit of selective shredding is that it can save a business money if the business pays by the pound for document shredding. While it can create savings in that area, however, it can be more costly in terms of the time required to prepare for, implement, and monitor a selective shredding program. These types of programs are also susceptible to employee errors that can result in information theft or leaks.
A shred-all policy is incredibly straightforward: it means that your employees are instructed to shred all documents, regardless of type, once they reach an “expiration date”. This strategy doesn’t require any pre-planning other than determining the length of time to hold onto documents.
When your business institutes a policy of shredding everything, you don’t have to invest time in training employees to follow a complex, selective shredding system. In addition, your staff saves time – on an ongoing basis — by not having to sort through papers, files, and folders to determine what documents need to be destroyed. This strategy is not subject to employee errors in judgement; if a document is past the chosen expiration date, it gets shredded.
Implementing a Shred-All Policy
While the details of a selective shredding policy will vary from one business to the next, it’s fairly simple to implement a shred-all policy for your company. First, it’s important to document and communicate the shredding procedure to all employees. Next, placed locked paper collection bins throughout the business.
Your shredding provider will then arrive based on the scheduled shredding services you set up to empty the bins and destroy all documents – on site, in a mobile shredding truck, or back at their facility. A AAA NAID certified shredding service will ensure that all files are shredded in a timely manner and that all shredded material is responsibly recycled. They will also provide you with a certificate of destruction.
When you launch your shred-all policy, be sure to assign an employee to oversee the program and make any necessary changes over time if needed.
Having an uncontrolled paper jungle can put your clients’ data and welfare and, in turn, your company, at risk. Whether you choose a selective shredding strategy or opt to shred everything, taking steps to organize and protect your paperwork will give your clients and employees true peace of mind.Back to Blog