Your Office Shredder and Recycling Program are Dangerous to Your Company’s Health

Your office shredder and recycling program puts your client’s data at risk and exposes your company to serious reputational damage

Putting confidential documents in the trash or recycling bin opens the door for identity thieves to compromise customers’ data. If information from a confidential document gets out, it will not only harm your customers but will also put your relationship with them in peril.

So why does so much confidential information end up in the hands of bad actors?  Because office shredders and recycling programs don’t properly eliminate the risk of sensitive data finding its way onto the dark web.

Let’s look at the two most common culprits: Your office shredder and your recycling program.

Why Shredders Can’t Do the Job

Your office shredder is a dangerous and time-consuming way to dispose of confidential documents.  Stationing someone at the shredder ties up a good employee. Shredding individual documents is a tedious, messy and lengthy process. In today’s data-driven world, companies generate too much information for anyone to keep up with using an office shredder. It causes a mess. And then there’s the question of what they are doing with the shredded paper. Throwing it in the recycling bin or trash opens the door for creative bad actors to get to that information.

In addition, having an employee shred company documents is not very confidential. There will be things that an employee just shouldn’t be seeing. By using a professional service like Infoshred, companies safeguard confidentiality, secure a chain of custody and satisfy compliance issues.  They transfer all that to an outside vendor who is highly trained in properly disposing of confidential documents.

By the way, not all companies that advertise themselves as document destruction providers are certified.  To assure your company that you’re picking the right outside vendor, confirm that  they are accredited by the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID).  That’s an annual certification process that professional document destruction companies like ours must qualify for yearly.

The other issue is employee training,.  All employees must understand what needs to be shredded.  Almost any business record containing information with the potential for misuse. should be properly shredded.  It could be Social Security numbers, H.R. documents, pay rate information, a quote, or even a note jotted down on a piece of paper that deals with sensitive data.  All this information can be used to commit a crime.  For documents like this, you need to be extra vigilant about how your employees are handling them.  Improper destruction of those documents could put your customers and your company at risk.

The Hazards of Your Recycling Program

One of the hidden risks for your data is your recycling program. Companies that run recycling programs often have two or three bins side-by-side. There’s a blue bin for recycling. Right next to it is a locked bin for confidential material and a trash bin. There’s a really good possibility that employees who haven’t been trained well will accidentally toss a confidential document in the recycling or trash instead of the locked bin.

To avoid this, many of our customers have shred-all programs. They shred all documents to prevent the possibility of a confidential document ending up in a recycling bin. The contents of those bins are loaded onto an open recycling truck, dumped in a pile and pushed around in the open air by payloaders.  Aside from the obvious risk from that process, there is also the issue of where those documents ultimately end up.  Many don’t realize that recycled paper documents stay intact.  They are not being destroyed. They are baled together and sold to recycling companies.

Contrast that with what happens to a confidential document when it’s put in a locked bin handled by a certified document destruction company like Infoshred. Our customers’ confidential material is picked up by a professional who has been background-checked.  That material is either shredded on the premises by one of our mobile shred trucks or transported to Infoshred’s security-protected plant. There, it shredded, making it unreadable. And incidentally, we also take it a step further.  That paper is then put into a pulp and put into a vat with chemicals and water.  Then, it’s recycled into new products like paper towels, game board boxes, and toilet paper.

In addition, when a certified company like ours destroys documents, your company gets a certificate of destruction confirming when we picked up the records and that they were properly destroyed. You have that certificate in your file, showing that you followed the proper record retention protocols for your customers’ data.


Safeguard Your Company and Your Client’s Data

The bottom line is this: Properly disposing of confidential information safeguards your customers’ sensitive data, your relationship with them and ultimately, your company’s health.Contact us today for a free evaluation of your current program of handling confidential documents. Email me at to get started.

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