Do’s and Don’ts of Document Shredding

Thumbs up and down icons.You have a legal and ethical obligation to protect your employees’ and customers’ privacy. Are your document shredding practices up to par? In this blog, we discuss the dos and don’ts of document shredding.

Don’t: Hoard Outdated Documents

Hoarding your documents puts the privacy of the information they contain at risk. The longer outdated documents are stored, the more chance that information may end up in the wrong hands. Hoarding documents may also lead to regulatory non-compliance fines.

Do: Create a Destruction Schedule

It’s important to know when to destroy your documents and shred them when they reach their final disposition dates. Consider using a scheduled shredding service to make sure your documents are destroyed on a fixed schedule.

Don’t: Toss Documents in the Trash

Sifting through your trash is one of the easiest ways for a thief to steal confidential client information, trade secrets, and employee records. Never toss protected health information (PHI), financial documents, or personally identifiable information (PII) in a trash or recycling bin.

Do: Shred—Always

To prevent identity theft and business fraud, shred sensitive documents when they are no longer needed. Since most office paper shredders are limited to basic strip cutting, enabling documents to be reassembled by hand or using specialized software, outsource your document destruction to a qualified shredding partner who uses state-of-the-art destruction equipment.

Don’t: Use an Office Shredder

Shredding documents with an office paper shredding machine takes time and effort. Destroying even one file involves several steps, including:

  1. Removing paperclips, staples, sticky notes, cardstock, and file folder or binder
  2. Separating the file into easily-shredded portions
  3. Feeding each sheet into the shredder
  4. Emptying the shredding receptacle
  5. Cleaning up spilled bits of shredded material
  6. Tossing the bag of shredded paper in the dumpster

Every time you use an office shredder, you lose time and money.

Do: Invest in a Shredding Service

A secure shredding service eliminates hours wasted each month standing over an office shredder, enhancing your business productivity and profitability. Secure shredding collection containers are strategically placed throughout your office enabling files to be disposed of quickly. Depending on the volume of information your business needs to shred, the security collection containers are collected on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis and your documents are shredded for you.

Don’t: Assume Privacy Protection

The shredding industry is full of providers with questionable security practices. Remember: Privacy protection is more than lip service, so only partner with a shredding provider who has verifiable and trusted security processes.

Do: Choose a NAID AAA Certified Provider

A NAID AAA Certified document destruction company protects your privacy with strict processes, ongoing training, and independent audits. The National Association of Information Destruction (NAID) provides oversight for the shredding and destruction industry. Besides verifying that strict chain of custody processes are followed during shredding, NAID AAA Certified document destruction vendors are subject to stringent, unscheduled audits confirming compliance with NAID security standards regarding:

  • Personnel screening practices
  • Equipment and facility safety
  • Insurance requirements

For more document shredding tips, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Richards & Richards offers secure document shredding and media destruction services for businesses throughout Nashville.