The importance of confidential document shredding for business security


Every business is bound to accumulate lots of documents, and many of these will contain sensitive information. Should they get into the hands of the wrong people, these important records could lead to a company's ruin.

For this reason, businesses in increasing numbers choose shredding for disposal of their confidential papers. Document shredding not only enables a company to avoid the potential theft of its data, but also allows it to meet the strict guidelines of the 1998 Data Protection Act, thereby avoiding any fines for non compliance.

What sorts of documents require shredding?

Any paperwork that contains a company's financial information and operational details must always remain confidential. When no longer needed, its destruction must be complete. The same holds true for customer files, patient records and credit reports. Companies should also shred any documents containing such sensitive employee information as National Insurance numbers, birth dates, phone and account numbers, street and email addresses, PIN numbers, passwords and signatures.

It is also important that every business realises the monetary value of any document that delineates a company's designs and concepts. The ideas outlined in presentations, marketing plans and company reports often have the potential to turn a serious profit, and these must remain confidential within the company.

Choosing a professional shredding company

When destroying confidential documents, many prefer the convenience of dealing with onsite shredding companies. Their machines can handle thousands of pounds of paper an hour, and any company representative can witness the operation firsthand. Many such companies provide locked bins in which the company can store its documents prior to the shredding process.

A company that prefers to shred its data offsite should ascertain that the shredding company of choice does not store the data for any length of time before shredding it. It should also allow a company representative to witness the destruction of the documents.

General considerations

Not all shredding companies are certified and many do not have the appropriate equipment to do the job correctly. In the
U.K., a responsible shredding company will belong to the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) Europe. It will provide a signed and dated Certificate of Destruction, and it will allow a company representative to watch as it destroys the documents. It's also imperative to be suspicious of any company that offers document shredding free of charge.

In the end, shredding offers companies the optimal means of destroying their sensitive documents safely, efficiently and, most important of all, completely.