This is a guest post from Andrew Morrell at Russell Richardson, a shredding service company. I asked him to fill us in on some of the things you should look for when selecting a provider.
A large amount of shredding isn’t good for the environment, whether it’s in an office or at home. Continuously emptying a shredder is also a time consuming task, not to mention shredders tend to use quite a lot of electricity; and the paper is wasted once it’s put into a bin. To reduce the amount of shredding that is being done in your office all you need to do is follow these simple tips.
To reduce the shredding requirements of your office you could sort through the documents and sort them into two categories; one that contains sensitive information, and one that do not. The documents that contain the sensitive information can be put aside for a different method of disposal whilst the other pile of documents can be recycled without hesitation. Be thorough when you’re deciding on the type of document and how to dispose of it, as just a small amount of misplaced information can have damaging effects such as fraud and identity theft.
Cut It Up
The documents that contain sensitive data should be destroyed rather than recycled; one method of this is to cut up your documents manually. Although this method would certainly reduce the shredding requirements in your office, it is very time consuming and should be deemed a last resort rather than a first choice.
Attempt to keep your office paperless, get into the habit of scanning any incoming paper and rather than physically mailing things, email them instead. The less paper that is going through your office to begin with, the less paper that you are going to need to recycle or shred; however, if you are keeping your documents on your computer you should back them up in several different places, one of these being in a secure account online.
Scanning all of your documents can be a tedious experience, but remember that it will be worth it in the end when you no longer have to deal with mountains of documents. There are some items that you cannot scan or should not scan. Copyright laws prevent you from scanning books into your computer system, you also should keep legal documents such as warranties, birth certificates and contracts as copies of these may not be accepted if you were to have need of them in the future.
Hire a Professional
Another method of disposing of your paper waste and confidential documents is to send them to a professional shredding service. An outsourced shredding service can do more than just shred your unwanted, confidential paper documents; they can also dispose of IT equipment that has stored confidential files and remove other unwanted assets from your office or premises.
An outsourced shredding service will often supply you with sacks for security and will then collect these sacks from you to ensure that the documents are kept completely confidential. Outsourced shredding companies will also implicate other security protocols for the purposes of confidentiality, such as being monitored by an independent auditor. When hiring a professional to shred your documents for you, make sure that they are certified by the NAID and have insurance that will cover not just the company but also your documents.
However you decide to manage your documents, remember that when disposing of them, your method must be secure and maintain the confidentiality of the documents at all times.[box] Author: Andrew Morrell works as a part of the marketing team at Russell Richardson and works hard to achieve the highest level of security when working with confidential documents and data protection.
(Photo by rosmary)