In today’s digital age, where confidential information is created and collected en masse, the importance of document shredding services cannot be overstated. Safeguarding sensitive information is crucial for businesses to protect confidential documents and personally identifiable information from falling into the wrong hands, fraud and identity theft.

Unfortunately, several document-shredding myths prevent individuals from fully understanding its benefits. In this blog post, we debunk 10 paper shredding myths and explain why all companies should embrace secure document destruction.

10 Common Myths About Document Shredding

1. Document Shredding Is Only for Big Businesses

Contrary to popular belief, document shredding is not exclusive to large corporations. Organizations of all sizes, from small businesses, medium-sized enterprises and large companies, can benefit from this important service. Protecting sensitive customer records, financial data, employee information and other confidential data is essential regardless of company size.

2. Not All Businesses Must Shred Documents

Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to proper destruction. Unfortunately, some businesses believe they are exempt from document shredding requirements, making information security a very low priority. However, secure document destruction is necessary for all organizations.

In Canada, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) establishes guidelines for collecting, using and disclosing personal information by private sector organizations. PIPEDA mandates that businesses handle personal information securely and dispose of it properly. Refusing to shred confidential information can lead to hefty fines for non-compliance. Using a professional shredding company ensures compliance with the PIPEDA and privacy laws.

3. Using an In-Office Shredder Is Sufficient

While relying on an in-office shredder for record destruction may seem convenient, it falls short in efficiency and security. In-office shredders are designed for light use and cannot handle large volumes of records. As a result, employees spend time feeding documents into the machine, dealing with paper jams and maintaining the shredder equipment. This leads to productivity losses and distracts employees from focusing on revenue-generating activities. Additionally, in-house shredding poses security risks, as sensitive documents shredded within the office are more susceptible to theft and unauthorized access.

Alternatively, most paper shredding companies use an industrial-grade shredder, ensuring faster and more secure destruction of records while freeing up valuable time for employees.

4. Shredding Is Time-Consuming and Inconvenient

Shredding is often viewed as time-consuming and inconvenient. However, professional shredding services are designed to streamline the process and minimize disruptions to daily operations.

Outsourcing shredding tasks saves businesses time and effort that would otherwise be spent on in-office manual shredding. With options like on-site or off-site shredding, trained professionals handle the entire process, from collection to destruction. It’s a full-service solution that’s convenient and efficient.

5. Paper Shredding Services Are Expensive

A common misconception about paper shredding companies is that they are pricey. However, professional shredding services are cost-effective when considering the full picture. In-house shredding incurs hidden expenses, such as maintenance, employee time and security breaches, which cost money.

Outsourcing shredding tasks to experts eliminates these concerns and provides a transparent and affordable pricing structure with flexible options, such as a one-time shred or ongoing scheduled services.

6. Recycling Is Enough; Shredding Is Unnecessary

A common misconception is that recycling alone is sufficient for disposing of sensitive business documents. While recycling is an essential environmental practice, it does not guarantee the security of confidential information.

Shredding, on the other hand, provides an additional layer of protection by rendering records completely unreadable. Without paper shredding services, business documents are susceptible to unauthorized access, identity theft and misuse when tossed in recycling bins. By shredding the paper before recycling, businesses also ensure regulatory and legal compliance for proper document destruction.

7. Shredded Paper Can’t Be Recycled

You may have heard that shredded documents cannot be recycled, but shredded paper is indeed recyclable. But, most paper shredding companies partner with recycling facilities so that shredded paper is recycled correctly.

The shredded paper is collected, baled and sent to a recycling service, which is processed into new paper products at a paper mill. Recycling shredded paper reduces the environmental impact by conserving resources and promoting sustainable waste management practices.

8. Digital Document Storage Eliminates the Need for a Shredding Service

While digital record storage is standard practice for most organizations, it does not replace the need for a shredding service. Physical documents still exist and pose a significant risk if not properly destroyed.

Shredding services provide an essential layer of protection by ensuring that physical records are permanently and irreversibly destroyed, rendering them unreadable and preventing unauthorized access. By combining digital record storage with regular shredding of physical copies, businesses are better equipped to protect company information and mitigate security risks.

9. Shredding Services Are All the Same

It is unfair to assume that all paper shredding services are identical. Choosing a shredding service requires careful consideration as not all providers are the same.

Look for National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) certification, which guarantees adherence to strict standards for secure handling and destruction of private information. Additionally, decide between off-site and on-site shredding. While off-site involves document collection and transport to a secure facility, on-site shredding allows you to witness the process in a mobile shredding truck, ensuring a secure chain of custody. Lastly, reputable providers prioritize employee screening and training, conduct thorough background checks and provide comprehensive education to ensure the secure handling of sensitive documents.

10. Paper Shredding Services Only Handle Paper Documents

You’ve been misinformed if you think paper shredding companies only shred paper. Modern paper shredding services can securely destroy electronic media, including hard drives, optical media and devices, and expired or unwanted products, like outdated marketing materials and identification cards.

Non-paper media can contain confidential data or trade secrets at risk of misuse when thrown in the trash. By hiring a shredding company that handles diverse materials, you can ensure comprehensive data security, regulatory compliance and peace of mind.

Keep Your Business Information Secure With Blue-Pencil

Don’t leave your organization’s most precious asset to chance. Instead, protect your business’ information security and confidential data with Blue-Pencil’s NAID-certified shredding service. We offer cost-effective solutions to suit your paper and non-paper shredding requirements, including one-time and regularly scheduled shredding.

To learn more, contact our customer service team today for a free quote!