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​The Importance of Shredding Documents for Your Business

Posted on by Advantage Business Equipment

Consumers and businesses work hard to safeguard sensitive data like credit card numbers and bank account information but are they doing enough. According to Symatac, the makers of Norton, 50% of consumers feel businesses are not doing enough to protect them. Even worse, 8 out of 10 consumers do not trust retailers to protect and keep their data secure.

When information falls into the wrong hands, it can be devastating, leading to long-term credit damage for consumers and reputation problems for businesses. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 16.6 million people fell victim to identity theft in 2012, yet many businesses still fail to properly safeguard customer data.

Through the use of document shredders, however, sensitive information can be destroyed beyond recognition after it reaches the end of its lifecycle. Businesses have a legal obligation under FTC Regulation and the Gramm-Leach-Baily Act, to protect consumer information. Installing a reliable central office shredder or convenient desk side shredders along with establishing a clear shredding policy, is key to compliance and customer protection.

Documents to Shred

Without realizing it, your employees may be tossing out sensitive documents every day and risking FTC non-compliance. Establish a policy to shred any printed material or old files when the information is no longer needed. Employee-to-client communications aren’t the only documentation that should be protected. Businesses should also put policies in place to shred internal communications with vendors, suppliers, and employee to employee exchanges.

Encourage Shredding

For employers, the key to improving shredding compliance is to make it as easy as possible for employees to participate. Shredders should be placed throughout the office in areas where they’re accessible to employees. If your shredder-to-employee ratio is too low, however, you may find the equipment will be overburdened, leading to frequent malfunctions. Offering desk side shredders in Accounting and HR departments is also highly recommended.

Another solution used by many large businesses including law firms and medical facilities, is installing one large industrial shredder and placing secure collection bins throughout the office. Bins are then collected and taken to the shredder for processing. Industrial shredders offer the convenience of processing large amounts of paper at once. This is perfect for old case files or bulk medical records. Many industrial units can process entire three ring binders and up to 600 sheets at once (60 banker boxes an hour). For example the Destroyit 5009 can shred up to 700 sheets per pass. This makes processing large amounts of paper quick and efficient.

Prices for Industrial Shredders range from $8000 to $50,000 depending on the motor size and shred capacity.

Shredder Basics

Many businesses make the mistake of purchasing small home shredders from office supply at office supply stores. These shredders are generally designed for home use and aren’t rated for the heavy-duty use required in offices.

When shopping for shredders, the most important details to look for are:

  • Shred Size – P3 Cross Cut is the minimum size considered adequate to securely shred documents. (7/32” x 2”)
  • Motor Duty Cycle – Closely review your needs and run time the shredder will operate. Exceeding the motor duty cycle will shorten the life of a shredder. Look for continuous duty units for maximum productivity.
  • Per Sheet Limit – Consider the total sheets needed to shred at one time. Avoid over loading the shredder and engaging the auto-reverse feature. Staying within the shredders posted paper capacity limits will extend its life and limit maintenance calls.

By strengthening your business’s shredding policies, you can increase security and keep your customers and employees safe. If you choose the right equipment, you’ll maintain your high levels of efficiency without putting security at risk.

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