May 25, 2021

How to Choose the Right Paper Shredding Service for Your Business

There’s no question that shredding is the best method for destroying sensitive documents and information that are no longer needed.
At first glance, do-it-yourself shredding (or using a personal paper shredder) can seem like the most cost-effective and efficient option. However, when you look more closely, you’ll see that do-it-yourself shredding has unforeseen costs that can add up very quickly, such as:  

  • Operational costs. Beyond the upfront cost of purchasing your own paper shredder, there are ongoing maintenance fees that must be considered, including labour, materials, and emergency costs if the machine malfunctions.
  • Time and employee productivity. Every minute an employee spends working the paper shredder is a minute away from their regular responsibilities.
  • Greater security risks. Inexpensive in-house shredders typically produce paper strips that can be easily reconstructed, which puts your business at risk. Not only do in-house shredders make your business more vulnerable to hackers looking to reassemble shredded documents, there is also a higher likelihood of employee error. In fact, according to Shred-it’s 2020 Data Protection Report, nearly a quarter of C-suite business executives who reported a breach cited the main cause as human error by employees. By asking employees who aren’t properly trained on handling confidential information to shred their own documents, there is no chain of command ensuring compliance with relevant privacy laws.

Overall, it’s best to trust professionals to properly dispose of sensitive, confidential documents. Professional document shredding has become the unofficial industry standard for safely destroying confidential data. If you are considering evaluating a professional document shredding partner, here are three questions to ask:

1. Who should we trust to dispose of our confidential data properly?

It’s essential to work with a partner that has the experience and expertise to take care of your data.
First, they should be certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID). This certification is the industry leading standard and most recognized data destruction qualification in the world. Shred-it has been NAID AAA-certified for over a decade.
A professional paper shredding partner should also provide a Certificate of Destruction after every shred. Beyond peace of mind, a Certificate of Destruction is proof that your information is no longer at risk and that your organization is compliant with relevant privacy laws.

2. How often does our organization require a professional shredding service?

Many organizations find that a regularly scheduled monthly shredding service is the best way to ensure they’re protected every day. The benefits include secure, locked containers in your office, regularly scheduled pickups, and a Certificate of Destruction after every service.
Organizations with fewer documents to destroy can also safely dispose of confidential documents and media at one of Shred-it’s secure drop-off locations.
Another option to consider is Shred-it’s Express and Priority One-Time Shredding Service with a guaranteed 2- or 5-day turnaround. These new services could be helpful to organizations considering a one-time purge of sensitive documents accumulated by returning office workers during the pandemic.
Shred-it’s services are completely customizable, ensuring document destruction is tailored to an organization’s unique document management requirements.

3. Do we have hard drives and other media (USBs, etc.) for destruction?

Many old hard drives contain confidential and easily recoverable information. If your organization’s hard drive disposal process involves erasing or wiping old hard drives, employee and customer information may still be vulnerable. Choosing a partner that provides a secure chain of custody at every touchpoint, allows for flexibility in terms of frequency, and that provides assurances that hard drives have been destroyed allow you to have peace-of-mind while focusing on what really matters, your business.   
Shred-it's destruction machines (hydraulic crusher or shearer) are specifically designed to destroy your hard drives so that data can never be retrieved or reconstructed. Shred-it also provides a Certificate of Destruction following every hard drive destruction service.
Beyond these questions, think of the values you want to see reflected in the service provider you see yourself partnering with. Whether it’s supporting more sustainable business practices or giving back to the community you serve, the partner you choose should have values that match your culture.
At Shred-it, environmental sustainability is important to us. In 2020, Shred-it securely destroyed and safely recycled 1.1 billion pounds of paper, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.  
Outside of our environmental work, we are part of the communities we serve. We regularly partner with local businesses or organizations to host community Shred-it events that are accessible to local residents. These events build awareness about the importance of protecting information and encourage residents to bring boxes of confidential papers that need to be securely destroyed.
Ready to take the step toward protecting your information?
Start by contacting us for a free quote or to learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents.