Common Risks of In-Office Shredding

Apr 13, 2023

In-office shredding is a common practice that many companies use to dispose of sensitive documents. However, several safety and security risks are associated with this document disposal method. Learn about these risks and how you can protect your business from them.

Inadequate Shredding Equipment

One of the most significant risks of in-office shredding is inadequate shredding equipment. Most companies do not use industrial-size shredders. Instead, they use cheap, low-quality shredders that may not be capable of shredding documents thoroughly.

This may result in partially shredded documents that still contain sensitive information.

Additionally, most offices do not have the equipment necessary to shred different materials, such as CDs, credit cards, ID cards, hard drives, x-rays, and cell phones.

Human Error

As with most things, in-office shredding leaves lots of room for human error. Employees may accidentally shred the wrong document or fail to shred documents that contain sensitive information. This can result in costly data breaches or other security incidents.

Potential Fire Hazard

Paper shredding generates a lot of heat and produces large quantities of flammable paper scraps. Obviously, this presents a potential fire hazard if not handled properly.

Paper shredders, especially cheap or low-capacity ones, are prone to overheating and jamming. When this occurs, it’s possible for the paper to ignite, quickly burn through the machine and the other contents of the shredder, and quickly spread.

Office workers should always keep shredders in a well-ventilated area, not shoved in a corner.

Compliance Risks

Many businesses are required to comply with regulations and laws governing the handling and disposal of sensitive information, such as HIPAA, FACTA, and GLBA.

In-office shredding may not comply with these regulations, especially if the shredding process is not secure or if the shredded materials are not properly disposed of. This puts not only your business at risk but also your reputation, as you could be hit with hefty fines.

Dumpster Diving

It may sound extreme, but there are plenty of instances of identity thieves dumpster diving for personal information to steal. They will sift through dumpsters and trash cans looking for sensitive documents that have been improperly disposed of and capitalize on them. This leaves you, your employees, and your customers vulnerable to identity theft.

Insider Threats

No one likes to think one of their employees would purposely do something to tarnish the company. But the reality is that it’s always a possibility. In-office shredding leaves you vulnerable to insider threats from employees who have access to sensitive information and bad intentions.

Outsource Your Shredding for Safety and Peace of Mind

Mitigating every risk present with in-office shredding would likely require a complete overhaul of your current destruction and disposal process. A much easier option is to outsource all your shredding and destruction needs to SEAM. We provide a wide variety of services to properly destroy and dispose of virtually every kind of sensitive material.

If you run a business in South Dakota or North Dakota and want to eliminate the stress and risks associated with in-office shredding, contact us today to learn more about our shredding and data destruction services.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.