Should I Shred My Documents With a Personal Shredder?
Cutting corners in the business world rarely works to your advantage. And while it may not be the end of the world if a box of bargain pens turn out to be all dried up, cutting corners with security can have devastating consequences. If you’re considering shredding your confidential material with a personal shredder in an effort to save time and money, think again—there’s only one way to ensure your information is safely, securely, and permanently destroyed.
Personal Shredders: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
Personal shredders are found in homes and small offices across the nation. They can be useful for shredding non-sensitive documents such as flyers or outdated manuals, and the remains can be used successfully as garden mulch or as packaging for shipped products. However, this method of shredding is an ineffective solution for the management of sensitive office materials for a number of reasons:
- Hidden costs. A personal shredder may seem like a good investment at the time, but if you factor in the cost of maintenance, repairs, and downtime due to paper jams or overheating, you’ll be no further ahead.
- Time. Because of their low capacity, personal shredders can only handle one or two documents at a time and must be allowed to cool down intermittently. Faced with a large pile of documents to shred, this can translate to several hours’ worth of work—time better spent running your business.
- Beyond paper. A variety of mediums other than paper can be used to store information, including DVDs, CD-ROMs, and computer hard drives. A personal shredder is designed for paper and is incapable of properly breaking down other materials so they are unreadable.
- Ineffective destruction. You may be satisfied by the jumble of paper strips created by your personal shredder, but opportunistic thieves make a living from reconstructing those strips and stealing your information.
So What’s the Solution?
Professional document destruction by a trusted, skilled shredding company is the most secure method of data disposal for businesses wanting to safeguard personal and client information. There are a number of significant differences between a personal shredder and professional on-site shredding services including the following:
- Secure storage. Unwanted or outdated documents and other materials may be left in unsecured bins, in a desk drawer, or an out of the way spot waiting to be run through your personal shredder. A professional shredding company supplies clients with locked consoles or bins, ensuring the security of your information until your scheduled service time.
- Secure chain of custody. Trained professionals transfer your materials to a bin which is then brought to the shredding truck. At no time are the contents vulnerable to theft or touched by hand. The bin is inserted in to a special tunnel in the truck, ready for shredding.
- Destruction process. Unlike personal shredders which cut paper in to strips, a commercial, on-site shredder turns each strip into tiny pieces which are then mixed with other shredded material, making reconstruction an impossibility. Shredded material is recycled to reduce your impact on the environment.
- Compliance. At the completion of the process, you will be issued a Certificate of Destruction in compliance with HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and FACTA.
- More than just paper. Commercial grade equipment can handle materials such as CD-ROMs, DVDs, X-Rays, Computer backups, and more.
Secure Shredding Services in Metro DC
When you need confidential document destruction in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC, contact TrueShred here or call 888-322-3218. You can also use our online form to request pricing. We look forward to serving your shredding needs—and keeping you in compliance!
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