Signs You Need to Change Shredding Providers

View of a desk with papers and a small green plant, and in the foreground, a person's hand is holding up a tiny spiral-bound notebook that has the words "Time For a Change."Are you familiar with the Five Man Electrical Band song, Signs? The chorus repeatedly tells the listener, “Signs, signs, everywhere there’s signs.” This could be interpreted as advice or even a warning.

Maybe you’ve been using a shredding provider that isn’t living up to your needs but you’re missing the signs that it’s time to switch to a new shredding provider. Here are the signs you may have missed:

Sign #1 – Security

Security is the reason shredding exists. Making sure your sensitive and private information is made impossible to reconstruct is the key to protecting your staff’s and clients’ private information as well as keeping your business compliant with state and federal privacy laws. But just hiring a shredding company isn’t enough. If your shredding company isn’t a secure operation, your company is at risk of a data breach.

These are the warning signs your shredding provider is not shredding securely:

  • Your provider is outsourcing their shredding work. When they do this, they—and you—lose oversight into what is happening to your information. The risk of data loss and theft increases exponentially when a third party gets involved.
  • The chain of custody is broken. Are there breaks in the path between receiving your documents and actually shredding them? Are your documents kept secure at all times and only handled by authorized personnel until they are completely destroyed?
  • The shredding company’s staff is not subjected to background checks. Without this security measure, your confidential information could be at great risk of theft, with you legally responsible for the data breach.
  • Your shredding provider is not NAID AAA Certified. Companies that have earned AAA Certification through the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) are subjected to scheduled and surprise audits conducted by independent, accredited security professionals. These auditors check every area of the shredding operation, from equipment and staff to compliance with state and federal data privacy laws such as HIPAAGLBA, and FACTA to equipment, staff, and insurance coverage.

Sign #2 – The Law

Are you more familiar with the federal, state, and local data privacy laws than your shredding company is? If they are not up to speed on data privacy laws, you can’t be sure they are handling your documents in a compliant manner. If they aren’t compliant, neither are you.

Sign #3 – Proof of Compliance

If you can’t get a Certificate of Destruction from your shredding company after each shredding service is complete, you have no proof that you have complied with data destruction laws, and you can’t provide it to an auditor as proof of compliance, either.

Sign #4 – Scheduling

Whose clock is your shredding company working on? Are they shredding at your convenience or theirs? Do they offer scheduled shredding, one-time purge shredding, and drop-off shredding? Can they provide on-site mobile paper shredding so your information is rendered unreconstructible before it leaves your premises?

Sign #5 – Electronics

Hard drives and other electronic media contain the same kind of private and sensitive information as paper, but fit a whole lot more of it in a much smaller space. Don’t these devices deserve the same high level of security as your paper documents? Does your current shredding provider offer hard drive and media destruction? Having all of your shredding done under one roof allows you to deal with one business that you feel confident with.

Sign #6 – Recycling

Is your shredding provider recycling your shredded material so it doesn’t end up in landfill? You are already doing your part to help protect the environment, so you will want to make sure that your shredding service is doing the same.

Sign #7 – Local vs. Global

You can tell your shredding provider isn’t local when you call for service or have a question about your bill and are sent to a call center and forced through a long menu of options to eventually—if you’re lucky—reach a person.

CI Information Management provides NAID AAA Certified shredding services in Southeastern and Central Washington state and Northeastern Oregon. If you have questions or are ready to make a switch, give us a call at 509-586-6090 or complete the form on this page. Our friendly shredding experts are ready to help!