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Why Does Your Business Need Secure Paper Shredding?

If your business collects any information that falls under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) then you have a responsibility to protect that information.  One of the ways you need to do this is with the use of secure paper shredding for any paperwork that can contain such information.  If you don’t there is a real risk that your business could be held responsible for the consequences of lost or stolen data.  This is where a secure paper shredding service can be a crucial partner for your business.

DPA regulations


Under Section 55A of the DPA, companies can receive a fine of up to £500,000 if there is a breach of responsibility surrounding the storage and correct destruction of paperwork that contains personal information.  Add to this the loss of reputation and customer trust that can come from not properly handling sensitive data – if one of your customers experienced identity theft due to information that was stolen from your waste, this would definitely reflect negatively on the business.


There are some real examples of situations where companies and institutions have received heavy fines for their DPA errors:


·         NHS fined £325,000 for letting patient data get into the wrong hands including computer hard drives that should have been destroyed but were sold on the internet

·         Wolverhampton City Council fined for throwing confidential waste into a skip rather than using shredding services to destroy it

·         Scottish Borders Council fined £250,000 when pension records for employees were found in the local supermarket paper recycling bank

Benefit of using a document shredding service


There are a number of benefits to using a document shredding service for your business that makes it worth considering, even for the smallest businesses.


1. No chance of identity theft from waste

Because the waste is securely shredded and disposed of afterwards, there is no chance that your employees or customers can experience identity theft through business paperwork

2. Customer details are protected

It ensures that anything with customer information on it is securely destroyed and cannot fall into the wrong hands, ensuring customer trust in the business

3. Employees are also protected

In the same way, employees don’t have to worry about their personal information falling into the wrong hands


Another benefit is that you avoid all that clutter caused by storing documents in the business.  This means businesses can use the space for other purposes and reduce the risk presented by excess paper.

What documents need shredding?


A common question about the document shredding service is what needs to be shredded and what can just go in the rubbish bin.  Anything that doesn’t contain personal information can be disposed of through the normal recycling rubbish. However, examples of waste that needs shredding include:


·         Photos IDs

·         Tax returns

·         Voided checks

·         Bank statements

·         Employee pay stubs

·         Credit or debit card information

·         Sales receipts or copies

·         Documents that contain name, address, phone number or email

·         Employee records

Using a top shredding partner


When you are looking for a company to help handle your secure shredding needs, look for a company who handles a lot of this kind of waste.  You want to know they have a clear process that ensures all your confidential waste is shredded and then securely disposed of so there is no chance of a problem later.


Lockable confidential waste bins are a good option while a destruction certificate is often provided to confirm the waste is safely destroyed.  Often companies can also offer support for other types of waste that needs to be removed from the premises including old electrical equipment such as computers.


For more information on secure paper shredding, visit our website or contact us directly.