Why an Office Shredder Probably Isn’t Good Enough to Protect Your Business

Jun 6, 2020

Every business is naturally concerned with the bottom line, but as you’ve probably heard, you have to spend money to make money.  Sometimes, the money you spend can also help to save you expense down the road.

This is the case when it comes to shredding documents that contain sensitive data.  Your North Dakota business has both a legal and an ethical obligation to protect consumer privacy, whether it’s in digital format or hard copy.  When you shred documents, you must do so in compliance with applicable consumer privacy laws, and possibly additional regulations like HIPAA, FACTA, GLBA, and so on designed to protect medical and financial data.

Can you use an office shredder to manage needed document shredding in-house?  Of course you can, but you could be taking serious risks by doing so, and the result could be data breach or identity theft, followed by consequences like penalties, lawsuits, and loss of revenue and reputation.  Why isn’t an office shredder good enough to protect your business?

Unsuitable Equipment

The first problem you’re likely to come up against is lack of compliance related to your shredding equipment.  Consumer model shredders typically aren’t up to the task, and even commercial shredding equipment could be unsuitable.

Specifications for consumer privacy could include everything from the type of shredder you use, to the way paper is cut (cross-cut, for example), to the size of the confetti resulting from shredding.  Failure to use appropriate equipment could not only earn you penalties for non-compliance, but if paper remains are tossed in the trash or sent to an unsecure recycling facility, they could be stolen and reconstituted by thieves using sophisticated software, rending your efforts moot.

Reliance on Employees

The second problem with in-house shredding is that you have to rely on employees to do it, and there are a couple of problems here.  First and foremost, you make employees responsible for knowing which documents should be shredded, and this can be tricky, even with clear policies in place.

You can counteract this problem with a shred-all policy, but still, you have to operate under the assumption that your employees won’t be lazy or unscrupulous, dumping documents in the trash to save time, or alternately, stealing them and the information they contain.  Whether you assign this menial task to entry-level employees that shouldn’t have access to such data in the first place, or you hand it off to higher-paid employees that may think the task is beneath them, you risk spotty compliance at best, and this is obviously not desirable.

Unsecured Data Storage

If documents slated for destruction are left to pile up in open bins around the office until someone has time to shred them, you’re facing incredible risk of internal theft (or even external theft if your office is open to visitors).  Locking bins are essential to data security.

Lack of Proof

When you partner with a certified ITAD service provider to manage document shredding, you’ll not only get locking bins for secure collection in the office, but during scheduled visits your mobile service will shred documents on-site with industrial equipment, ensuring compliance and peace of mind.  You’ll also get a Certificate of Destruction and Recycling for your records as proof, something you will not have if you shred in-house.

If you need reliable and certified document destruction services for your North Dakota business, contact the qualified professionals at SEAM today at 605-274-7326 (SEAM) or online to request a quote and learn more.

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.