Why did over 1,300 vehicles line up for NBC 10’s Great Shredding Event in West Warwick, RI this past spring?
The short answer is ‘data security’.
Teaming up with Shred-it and furniture retailer Cardi’s, NBC 10 invited its viewers to bring their confidential documents to a free shredding event. In the span of just three hours, more than 16 tons – 33 thousand pounds – of confidential information was securely destroyed by Shred-it’s security-trained specialists. Documents were fed into industrial shredders, turned into confetti-sized pieces and were sent for recycling.
The event showed that environmental responsibility and document security are two sides of the same coin. The recycling from the day's shredded paper actually yielded a saving of 253 trees, which was “a great accomplishment in one day during Earth week”, said Greg Johnson, District Sales Manager, Shred-it.
Here are other reasons why secure document shredding is so important today:
- Identity theft: Shredding confidential information protects it from identity thieves. Identity theft is when personal information is used fraudulently to open financial accounts or make other business transactions in victims' names. In 2015, identity fraud victimized 13.1 million Americans and cost $15 billion, according to the 2016 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin. Personally identifiable information such as name, address, email, customer and employee information, credit card and sales receipts, and tax and payroll records must be protected through its lifetime. When no longer needed, industrial shredding technology permanently destroys information.
- It’s the law: Privacy laws and industry guidelines require organizations to protect confidential information. There can be major fines and other penalties if organizations do not comply.
- Tidier office: By shredding unnecessary documents, an organization can better protect confidential information – and save space and present a more professional image. Documents left on a desk can be easily removed by anyone walking by. Implement a Clean Desk Policy to formalize procedures.
- Dumpster divers: If documents end up in large garbage bins outside, they may be ‘found’ by dumpster divers. Keep in mind that dumpster diving is not illegal except where explicitly prohibited – and as long as a person does not trespass on private property to reach a dumpster. A protected workplace with regular shredding services keeps confidential information out of dumpsters.
- Internal fraudsters: The greatest threats to security can come from inside an organization. The 2015 Insider Threat Report showed that companies worry that privileged users (55%), contractors or service providers (46%), and business partners (43%) increase the risk of a security breach.
- Culture: Embedding information security into workplace processes helps build a culture of security.For example, partnering with a document shredding company means that locked consoles are installed in the workplace for the secure storage of documents that need to be shredded. Experts also recommend a Shred-it all Policy so that all documents are destroyed when no longer needed.
- Record of destruction: Regularly scheduled protection by a document destruction partner will include a Certificate of Destruction after every shred. This is important if the organization ever has to demonstrate that information has been destroyed.
Secure shredding is an important step in document management. But there is more an organization can do.