Here's Why Document Shredding is So Important
Think you can put document shredding aside? Think again. You're putting your personal, financial and business interests at risks if you're not shredding right.
Let's face it, protecting a business and a customer's personal information is important.
In 2016, a record high of 15.4 million consumers in the United States had $16 billion stolen from them as a result of identity fraud!
It's a staggering figure when you consider that just one year earlier, 13.1 million U.S. consumers lost $15.3 billion.
One way your business can help secure information is through document shredding.
Shredding can be a major part of an initiative to combat the theft of personal information. This can save your business, your clients and your employees time and money.
Why is document shredding so important and how can your business (and your customers) use it?
Combat Identity Theft
Using a high-security shredder helps your business prevent access to information. This includes sensitive data about your customers, your employees, and your business.
Common ways identity thieves do this is by going through old files or discarded mail. They also look through paperwork or documents that include personal information. This includes things like an address or a Social Security Number.
Developing a plan for bulk shredding documents is being proactive against a real threat. A data breach.
When your business incorporates shredding into your day-to-day operations, it's a selling point.
Prospective customers and business partners want to feel secure in their relationships.
They want to limit the threat of their information being in the hands of an intended recipient.
Marketing your company as one taking steps in this regard can be beneficial.
Using commercial shredders and the like sends a clear message that you care about this issue.
Document Shredding Isn't Just For Paper
Even if your office is going paperless, shredding isn't limited to paper documents.
Items like flash drives, CDs and DVDs often hold some important information.
These items, like their paper counterparts, shouldn't be easily accessible. They should be shredded if they are not going to be reused by your business.
Flash media shredders and SSD shredders are options your business can use for this purpose.
Follow the Law
State and federal laws govern a businesses practices to a certain extent. In some industries, they often control the use of personal information.
Failing to make sure information is secure can have serious consequences.
For example, Adobe Systems, Inc. was fined $1 million for a 2013 data breach, impacting approximately 500,000 people in 15 states.
No security system is fool-proof. But using a shredder to protect information can help your business avoid these fines.
Protect Your Business Finances
Using a shredder can also help protect your own businesses financial information.
This is sensitive information whose disclosure can have major consequences.
Things like voided checks, bank statements, and balance sheets are often kept on file. These items are ones you can't afford to reveal outside of your business or home.
You may want to keep business relationships confidential. You might also want to keep banking information from being accessible as well. Either way, shredding documents can help you do this.
In today's digital world, hackers armed with your account information are dangerous. They can drain your account in a matter of seconds!
It's this sort of situation that can derail your business temporarily, or sink it altogether. Simply put, it's just not a risk worth taking for you or your business.
It's such a major issue that an identity thief explained how he could do just that, in a Bloomberg story from 2015. (It's much easier than you think!)
Save Office Space
As your business grows, you will face the costs associated with expansion. This can include things like the expense of providing your staff with a larger workplace. (Not to mention the costs of paying a larger workforce!)
Eliminating physical documents through shredding gives you more space to house employees.
It can also help you increase the space you have for client meetings or storing supplies. These are two things your business uses to help generate revenues.
After all, who likes walking into an office that's overrun with paper or storage boxes?
It can create a bad first impression for people visiting your office for the first time.
Saving space from shredding documents is a win-win situation for your business — both now and in the future.
Using a shredder can help you limit the amount of waste that enters the environment.
Many businesses are pushing to be more eco-friendly and limit their environmental footprint. (It helps improve the planet and who doesn't feel good about that?)
This helps businesses improve their reputation in the community so they can improve sales. This is because consumers often want to support companies that share their values.
A study by the Nielsen Company looked at the behavior of millennial consumers. Millennials are often defined as those individuals born between 1980 and 1994. They were willing to pay more for "products and services" from companies committed to the environment.
In 2015, 72 percent of millennials surveyed would pay more to these companies. This is up from 55 percent in the previous year.
When your business shreds items like paper and plastics, they can be recycled and reused.
This helps limit waste that comes from throwing these items away. It also helps keep this information out of the hands of would-be criminals.
Looking to the Future
Document shredding helps protect sensitive information of your business, employees, customers and partners.
With an estimated $16 billion stolen because of identity theft in 2016, this isn't a crime to take lightly.
Benefits of shredding include helping your business fight identity theft and developing trust. It's also something that can protect you against receiving costly fines as a result of a data breach.
Not using shredders can result in major losses, both in time and money. These are two of your businesses most important resources.
They are also things you can't get back once they are gone.
In today's competitive business environment, using shredding can be a major advantage for your company.
Is your business using shredding to protect information?
How has document shredding helped to improve your business environment and work relationships?
Share your story below.