On site shredding has become incredibly popular over the past couple of years as more and more businesses begin to see the value in terms of convenience, security and cost efficiencies. There are, of course, alternatives to using a secure on site shredding option for your business and we are taking a look at some of these below, including why they have certain advantages but are sometimes just not worth the risk.
1. Store all your documents instead. Before the days of the Data Protection Act this was a very popular option for many businesses, particularly those not looking to expend resources on properly disposing of documents and the data they contain. However, the legislative obligation to now ensure that information “shall not be kept for longer than is necessary” means that this isn’t an option any more. There’s also the hazard issue to consider with numerous stored documents, both in terms of all that paper being a fire risk and the fact that the longer you have documents hanging around the more likely they are to go astray.
2. Just recycle? Of course recycling is a fantastic way to dispose of documents and to ensure that your environmental impact is considerably lessened. However, the focus of the recycling process is on reducing the amount of waste, not on security during the recycling process, and this can mean that the data in the documents being recycled is not treated with security as top priority. It’s highly likely that a business that doesn’t shred documents before recycling could find itself in breach of the data protection laws as a result.
3. What about the paperless office? This is an ideal that many of us subscribe to and there has been a huge amount of progress made in terms of getting to the point where paper plays a minimal or non-existent role in daily life. However, the reality is that most offices are still reliant on it – we print out emails to take to meetings, documents are often distributed in physical, paper form and business information such as internal telephone lists are often both digital and documented. If you think about how your business functions can you really say that you’ve fully achieved the paperless ideal? If not then it’s unwise to ignore the risks with the documents that you do still use.
4. DIY shredding. If you’re trying to cut costs then no doubt the idea of doing your own document shredding appeals greatly. Unfortunately you need to allocate a resource within the business to deal with this and that means taking a member of staff from another area of the organisation. There are also security risks – one moment of carelessness and documents can simply go missing – and you just don’t get the same level of service as you would from a professional on site shredding organisation.
These are some of the alternatives to on site shredding out there. As you can see, in terms of document security, data protection and cost, they are just not worth the risk.
Author: Mark Coombes - Follow me on Google+