March 18, 2024

Maximize Security with a Shred-it-All Policy: Eight Key Benefits

As part of a comprehensive data protection strategy, businesses should establish and enforce specific, actionable, and easy-to-follow data protection policies for their workforce. A shred-it-all policy encourages the regular destruction of all documents. Employees should consider if there are any requirements to retain the document (in accordance with internal policy or other legal requirements) and, if not, then immediately and securely dispose of it.

Eight Ways a Shred-it-All Policy Can Take Information Security to a New Level:

Better protection: First and foremost, a data destruction policy helps protect an organization’s confidential information and reduces the risk of security breaches by making sure documents do not end up in the wrong hands. This policy requires all employees – regardless of level – to shred all papers when no longer needed before they leave the office. Sticky notes, presentations, and meeting notes can all create serious security risks if that information was accessed by the wrong person.

Improves compliance: The 2023 Data Protection Report found that most of the small business leaders (SBLs) surveyed say they actively support new data and information protection regulations as efforts to advance consumer safety or sustainability. There are many industry regulations for privacy and security, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Gramm-Leach-Bliley-Act (GLBA), Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Professional destruction: Shredding is one of the most secure ways to dispose of confidential information. You should partner with a trusted shredding company that offers services for paper and hard drive destruction. Utilizing secure paper shredding services ensures that your confidential documents are properly disposed of and recycled, reducing waste and promoting sustainability. The document destruction provider should provide locked consoles, trained service professionals, industrial shredding equipment, and Proof of Service that certifies your materials have been securely shredded and disposed of.

Less uncertainty: This kind of data disposal policy (in combination with a document retention policy) helps remove uncertainty around whether documents are confidential and require shredding. When employees are encouraged to shred all documents once they have served their purpose, ambiguity around what documents are confidential is removed.

Reduction in human error: According to the 2023 Shred-it Data Protection Report, employee error was the cause of 50% of the data breaches they experienced in 2022. To help reduce human error, companies should have regular training modules for employees in addition to outlining clear rules for employees to follow in day-to-day tasks. Employers can help their staff continue their data security education outside of designated training days by offering clear, tangible, and simple steps.

Protection against dumpster divers:  Dumpsters and other receptacles, like recycling and trash bins, are targets for criminals looking to steal a company’s sensitive and confidential information. Anyone can go through unsecured bins and take out discarded documents. Malicious actors steal physical data through “dumpster diving,” where they steal confidential information discarded in bins.

Culture of security: A document destruction policy works hand in hand with other data protection strategies that support a culture of security in the organization. For example, a clean desk policy helps ensure physical documents are shredded or locked away and that all computing devices are protected each time an employee leaves a workspace. Ongoing focus on data security helps to fight complacency around keeping information secure.

Environmental sustainability: Secure document destruction services, like Shred-it®, promote recycling while at the same time helping to keep physical confidential data safe. Shred-it® helps companies that use its paper destruction services promote recycling practices and contribute to a circular economy model of resource use. 

Comprehensive policies, such as shred-it-all, can help prevent a data breach, which protects the organization, employees, and valued customers. Learn more about how Shred-it® can be an integral partner in the execution of your policy with our document and hard drive destruction services.