Know the facts about paper shredding

Know the facts about paper shredding

When it comes to cutting identity theft and protecting your sensitive information, it pays to know the facts. There are many common myths regarding paper shredding and media destruction.

Time and time again businesses toss sensitive information in the trash instead of securely destroying the information because office shredders are too noisy, shredding takes time or the possible accidents such as a tie getting caught in the shredder. But it’s key to know the facts about shredding to better protect your business information.

Here are some of the most common myths regarding paper shredding and media destruction:

• Not all businesses have to shred. In an effort to protect consumers’ privacy and combat identity theft, a number of data protection laws have been passed. These laws require businesses to properly maintain information and then, after the appropriate records retention period, properly destroy it. There are not only state laws that require proper destruction of information but also federal laws including HIPAA, which applies to medical information, and FACTA, which requires businesses to have procedures for destruction methods.

• No one will look through the trash. Even if no one goes dumpster diving for your personal information right on site, there is no guarantee that your information will stay in the bag while it’s at the dump. Once vital information is in the trash it is available for all to see, and surprisingly there are many people who routinely go through a business’ trash.

• If we have a shredder, employees will use it. In many cases, employees might have a single sheet of paper to discard and instead of shredding it they rip it in half and toss it in the trash. Other times, paper is accumulated in a pile for shredding when it’s convenient, which can become a security issue.

• It’s better to save records, “just in case.” Businesses are required by law to maintain a variety of records. These may be needed for a range of reasons beyond tax purposes. However, there is also a risk of keeping records past their retention periods. All records on hand can be used against a company in a court case. Therefore, every business should have a document retention policy in place that includes document destruction.

• Businesses must shred their own records to remain compliant. It is true that businesses must destroy confidential documents, however it is not a requirement that the destruction be witnessed by an employee. Once your company has contracted a reputable firm to shred your records and provide a certificate of destruction, they can shred them onsite or offsite.

Knowing the facts about shredding will not only simplify things at your business, it will also help protect you and your business.

Legal Shred
11806 S US Hwy 41
Gibsonton, FL 33534