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Using an Office Shredder? Add On All These Hidden Document Shredding Costs

Posted April 11, 2017 by Lynn Brown



Workplaces that handle sensitive information – and that would be pretty much every business – have to adhere to rigorous document destruction policies. While do-it-yourself shredding appears to be an inexpensive way to destroy confidential documents, if you're looking for a low document shredding cost, it's important to know that the in-house shredding process can be much costlier – and more damaging – than you might think.

Learn about the cost to shred documents this way - and the risks of in-house shredding:   

Equipment: While an office shredder may have an inexpensive price tag, there are maintenance, replacement, and cleaning costs to consider too. Plus, shredding large amounts of paper in-house can produce a fine dust that can affect the health of employees. Instead: A reliable document shredding service securely removes documents from the workplace for on- or off-site shredding with industrial grade equipment. 

Labour: There are time and productivity costs when your employees have to spend their valuable time shredding documents. They will have to remove paper clips and staples (most office shredders can’t handle anything but paper), arrange documents into easily-shredded portions, manually feed paper into the shredder, empty receptacles, and clean up. Instead: A secure shredding service simplifies and streamlines document destruction by providing locked consoles and allowing whole files including staples and paperclips to be dropped inside. Contents will be securely removed regularly by screened security professionals.

Employee error: In-house shredding can leave decisions about whether to destroy documents up to employees. But research has shown that employee negligence is a significant threat to information security. The 2016 Shred-it State of the Industry Report showed that in Canada, for example, 41% of C-Suites and nearly half of small business owners (SBOs) surveyed believe human error and lost documents are the most likely sources of a data breach. Instead: A secure shredding service provides a chain of custody from the moment documents are put into locked consoles to secure on or off-site shredding. Implementing a Shred-it All Policy will reduce the risk of error even more.

Ineffective shredding: Office-grade shredders cut paper into long strips that can actually be pieced back together – this increases the risk of a security breach. A breach can damage a company’s reputation, and there are real financial costs too. The 2016 Ponemon Institute Cost of a Data Breach Study showed that the cost of each lost or stolen record containing confidential data has increased to about $158. The global study also put the likelihood of a material data breach involving 10,000 lost or stolen records in the next 24 months at 26%. Instead: A professional shredding service uses industrial grade equipment, which crosscuts documents into confetti-sized bits that cannot be reassembled. 

Non-compliance: Federal and other privacy regulations such as the GDPR in the EU and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the U.S. impose fines and penalties against companies that fail to protect confidential information.  Employees who look after in-house shredding usually do not have proper training in records retention and disposal. Plus, there is no documented proof of secure document destruction with in-house shredding. Instead: A secure shredding service will help an organization meet compliance requirements, and it will issue a Certificate of Destruction after every shred.

Learn how to implement the full range of document management best-practices in your workplace.


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