With identity theft becoming more commonplace and industrial espionage apparently on the rise (according to the Institute of Directors), the way we dispose of documents that might contain sensitive information is now more important than ever. However, whilst there are many very sensible reasons for a sound paper shredding policy for every business, in recent years the beefing up of legislation protecting privacy and data has meant that there are now legal requirements to ensure that information is safely disposed of – and some fairly hefty penalties to handle where this is ignored – and onsite secure shredding is the only way to comply.
You may have introduced security systems to warn and protect against data loss via your IT systems and you may also have spent time training your team on how to handle data and where the line is drawn on privacy issues, but if you don’t have efficient document destruction in place then you are very exposed to finding yourself on the wrong side of the law when it comes to data loss and breach of privacy. Increasingly, for the majority of businesses that simply don’t have the resources to pour into document destruction, onsite secure shredding is the only way to comply.
So, where exactly are the holes in your paper shredding policy and why should they worry you? Well, the main risk for business is that as soon as documents leave the premises they are out of your control but if data is lost during that time your business is arguably still responsible. Penalties for not complying with the Data Protection Act include prosecution by the Information Commissioners office, possible prison sentences and fines of up to £500,000. Even if you don’t intentionally mishandle data you can still be held responsible, which is why when it comes to this area of the law it really isn’t worth taking any risks. A high standard is expected from any company handling data – which could be something as basic as customer order details – but for most there is little time to focus on ensuring that this data is fully protected. Of course the problem with this is that, if you don’t have protection in place then you are only likely to see the consequences of not having that protection when it is too late. This is why, when it comes to ensuring your company is not in breach of the raft of data protection and privacy legislation onsite secure shredding is the only way to comply.
There are, of course, other advantages to onsite shredding too. For example, it is convenient and can be organised for a time and frequency that suits your schedule. Everything is taken care of on your own premises so there is no need to worry about documents in transit, and you don’t have to dedicate your own staff and resources to manage this very important process. In fact, if you want to make your life easier, as well as guaranteeing the peace of mind of knowing your paper shredding policy is complying with UK law onsite paper shredding is the only way to go.
Author: Mark Coombes - Follow me on Google+