What is document shredding?
Document shredding is when important paperwork is cut into tiny pieces in order to dispose of them safely. The best way to dispose of these papers is to bag them in separate trash bags when throwing them out, so that the little pieces of paper are not still all together in one bag. This deters others from piecing together the papers like a puzzle.
Shredding is more important that you might think. If you don’t shred confidential documents, you may face problem you never though you would.
What should be shredded?
Confidential paper shredding is just that — shredding any papers that should be kept confidential. Here are a few examples:
- Credit card receipts
- Utility bills
- ATM receipts
- Expired IDS
- Tax information older than seven years
Basically, a confidential paper is anything that contains information pertaining to your person or your life. There are some documents that have sensitive information on them, but have to be kept for a time. Just make sure that those papers are kept very secure. When the time comes to dispose of them, ensure that it is done efficiently. Even older documents can have sensitive information on them that someone with malicious intent could make use of.
Why should it be shredded?
Document shredding is important for several reasons.
- Identity Theft
This is the main reason for shredding documents. One in every 10 people have been — or are currently — a victim to identity theft. This is where someone steals their information and begins to use it as there own, gaining access to their credit, bank accounts, and more. This is a huge problem in the United States. Back in 2012, almost $21 billion dollars was spent on identity fraud. Shredding documents can help stop someone from finding your information and stealing it.
Identity theft is often used to cover for organized crime. Too many criminals have access to specialized equipment and machinery that can expertly fake identities. All that is needed is a few pieces of information from your trash. More than 43% of security breaches are the result of activities like dumpster diving. That’s why it is good to separate the confidential shredding and put it in separate dumps if possible.
The world becomes an even scarier place when you find out someone has taken your identity and is using it for criminal activity. Avoid this altogether by simply shredding your documents.
- Confidential Information Disposal
Document shredding is also used to destroy confidential information to preserve client or patient safety. Banks, hospitals, and other organizations hold a lot of information that must be shredded once it has been finished with. This helps to keep their customers protected.
- Recycle Waste Paper
Shredding is a great way to recycle as well. You can fit a lot more paper into an area once it has been shredded. This makes it much easier to recycle and reuse without causing any problems to the company or the clients.
Types of Shredding
- Cross tab
- Strip cut
- Professional firm
These are the types of shredding that are available. No one method is better than the other, and all provide the equal amount of protection.
Cross tab and strip cut shredders are the machines that you can buy anywhere for personal or even office use. A professional firm will provide a large bin where documents are kept and about once a week will send a truck to come and pick of the documents to properly dispose of them using a shredder that’s built inside of the truck. If a company has a very large amount of confidential papers that need to be shredded regularly, this is a good service for them.
If in doubt: shred. There’s no such thing as too much shredding. If you do not need to keep an important document or piece of paper, then shredding is your best option. It is far better to be safe than sorry.