6 Paper Shredding Myths Dispelled

A manilla envelope with a bold red stamp that reads "Myth Busting"These days, as corporate data breach and consumer identity theft rates skyrocket, document shredding is a popular topic of discussion. But how do you separate fact from fiction? In this blog, we set the record straight by dispelling several popular paper shredding myths.

Myth 1: All Shredding is the Same

Not all shredding methods are equal. In-house shredding relies on store-bought office shredders. Some office shredders cut paper into strips, while others use a crosscut method. Either way, the highest risk of a data breach occurs when your office’s shredded documents are tossed in a dumpster or recycling bin where anyone can steal them.

A mobile shredding vehicle shreds your documents into particles much smaller than a strip-cut shredder can offer, but most importantly, your shredded documents are comingled with up to ten thousand pounds of documents from other customers, rendering them impossible to reconstruct. So, if you value your privacy, invest in a mobile shredding service.

Myth 2: Outsourced Shredding Isn’t Secure

While some shredding services do not have strict security standards, shredding providers do. They are audited annually on their policies and procedures. All personnel that have access to shredded and un-shredded material are background checked and drug tested.

A NAID AAA Certified shredding provider maintains agreements with their recyclers that require them to uphold NAID security standards. In contrast, most offices do not hold similar agreements with their garbage collectors, recyclers, third-party providers, or even internal personnel. As a result, when you use a NAID AAA Certified shredding provider, your information is much more secure than when you shred in house.

Myth 3: Paperclips and Staples Can’t Be Shredded

Paperclips, staples, and rubber bands wreak havoc on consumer-grade shredding machines, so you must painstakingly remove them from documents when shredding in-house. With a professional shredding service, you can leave paperclips and staples on your files since their industrial-grade shredding blades destroy a wide variety of non-paper items, saving you valuable time!

Myth 4: It’s Better to Store than Shred

It’s true that some paper records must be kept for several years and require a secure storage solution, but many can and should be shredded. Holding onto confidential information too long poses a plethora of privacy and legal risks. When documents reach the end of their retention period, destroy them. A reputable shredding provider will offer a Certificate of Destruction after each shredding project, reducing your liability exposure.

Myth 5: Outsourced Shredding Isn’t Compliant

The opposite is true; outsourced shredding offers enhanced compliance with federal regulations like HIPAA, FACTA, GLBA and SOX. Your shredding provider destroys your documents within a strict chain of custody. A Certificate of Destruction provided during shredding includes the date, location, and volume of records destroyed, documenting your organization’s compliance with local, state, and federal laws.

Myth 6: Professional Shredding is Expensive

In house shredding with office paper shredders is costly and time consuming. Besides creating unnecessary overhead, having your employees do the shredding creates security liabilities. A professional shredding service eliminates time-consuming manual shredding tasks and keeps your employees focused on revenue generating activities.

For more paper shredding tips, please call us at 509-586-6090 or complete the form on this page.

CI Information Management provides shredding services as well as full-service records and information management in the Tri-Cities, the Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, Hermiston, OR, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and nearly everywhere in between.