5 Common Paper Shredding Myths Businesses Believe

By Michael Ostrea

When it comes to protecting your sensitive information and minimizing the chances of identity theft, it pays to know the facts. Although document shredding practices have been proven to decrease privacy breach incidents, many organizations are misinformed about document shredding best practices, which increases their vulnerability to breaches. In this article, we expose five common paper shredding myths that businesses are led to believe….or they convince themselves to believe.

Myth #1: The likelihood of someone going through my trash bin is slim to none

Many businesses believe this to be true because this particular problem hasn’t affected them…yet. Although we would love to believe this, the reality is alarmingly the opposite. Once your documents go into the trash or even recycling bin, they are open to the public. You may be surprised to learn that there are many people who routinely go through company trash. But let’s say you’ll never experience anyone dumpster-diving through your bins. There is still no guarantee that your information will stay in the bag while it’s at the dump. A short trip to any landfill will reveal just how much paper flies out in the open. Such negligence can lead to devastating data breaches that can seriously damage a company’s reputation and potential loss in business.

Myth #2: It’s cheaper to buy our own paper shredders

Stores and manufactures that sell office paper shredders argue that it saves money to buy their product and call it a day. Professional shredding companies claim that their services save time and money. So what’s the deal? Statistics show that employees who work for an organization that employs secure document shredding practices spend an average of 3 to 5 minutes per day in front of a shredder. Now let’s assume a company with 10 employees (at $10/hr. each) using a single $500 office shredder. The math would equal $155.33 per month in costs or just their time to do this activity. Now if this company switches to a professional shredding service provider, they could save tremendous amounts of time and money depending on the number of bins or consoles they need.

Myth #3: My staff will use the office shredder

The reality is that employees have daily tasks that take priority. Feeding stacks of paper through an office shredding machine takes a considerable amount of time, as explained in Myth #2. In many cases, the duty of shredding is put off only to pile up into a seemingly daunting task that no one has time for. The result is that important documents are tossed in the trash or recycling bin because it’s easy. Since this is a common practice in many businesses, the most common-sense thing to do is to replace the trash or recycling bin with a secure bin that a professional shredding company will dispose of safely and securely.

Myth# 4: It’s better to just keep important information than shred it

Of course, some documents must be kept in order for your organization to meet retention compliance requirements. However holding onto them longer than you’re legally required to, can compound compliance and privacy risks. This can increase the risk of identity theft, even for employees who no longer work for the company. When documents reach the end of their retention lifecycle, they should be destroyed.

Myth #5: My Company is too small for a shredding service

The size of your company shouldn’t dictate whether or not you should be implementing a shredding program. Statistics have shown that the average employee uses between 10,000 and 20,000 sheets of paper a year. That’s roughly 5 to 10 tons of paper which more often than not includes vital information pertaining to your staff, company, and your customers. Even with companies that claim to be 100% paperless, the reality is that paper is a medium that will always be used in some way which necessitates the need to securely shred documents.
Share This Post With Others!

Posted in