For a lot of businesses, shredding is just an annoying task reserved for Friday afternoons or that occasional unmotivated Monday morning. We see a lot of businesses who will let the ‘to shred’ pile get higher and higher before actually doing anything about it, if at all. Some businesses don’t even shred at all, choosing instead to store or just throw away their documents. And while shredding may seem like a chore, there are consequences to deciding ‘I won’t shred this.’
From the moment a document is created within your business, you are responsible for that document. If it’s just a word file full of random notes, that might not sound all that bad, but a document containing sensitive information about staff, customers or a supplier is something else entirely. Of course, there are certain sensitive documents that you aren’t allowed to shred – like company financial records (which need to be kept for a minimum of 5 years before they can be destroyed) but keeping sensitive information in document form longer than it is needed can cause your business some serious problems.
Risk Of Fraud
This is a scary word, but your risk of falling victim to fraud are very much linked to your policies on document destruction. This is because criminals will study you and your business, work out your policies and movements, and then move in to take the data. We recently had a chat with a man who is known as an ‘ethical hacker’, who managed to get his hands of thousands of customer records from a bank simply by pretending to be delivering pizza (don’t worry, they had asked him to find a way in!). If you have records containing sensitive information lying around or not locked away in a safe place, they are all too easy to steal or duplicate. Make sure you are using services like our shred on site solutions to ensure your documents are shredded and destroyed in front of you, and not in the hands of someone with more corrupt motives.
Loss Of Trust
As a business, your customers trust you to be able to keep their information safe. The trust of your customers should be one of the most important things to your business, and that should be enough reason to ensure their data and identities are safe. Lets face it; you could offer the most world-class service, but if your customers don’t trust you then you won’t be providing it to anybody. It’s important to never forget that a business without customers is nothing, and a part of gaining and keeping their trust is ensuring you have a working data destruction policy in place. Fraud and other undesirable situations resulting from inadequate data destruction are incredibly serious, and if your customers start to get the impression that you aren’t being careful with their information, they will simply stop giving it to you. So instead of feeling like data destruction is just an exercise in administrative compliance, start seeing it as a way to show your clients and customers that they are important to you.
Services like ours use state of the art on site shredding lockers to allow you to keep your documents in a secure place until they can be collected and destroyed properly. Alternatively, we can shred your documents on site for you, or at our shredding warehouse. Our services ensure that you are keeping your business compliant with all relevant rules and regulations, without having to pay someone to sit over a shredder for hours every month. So to make sure your documents don’t fall into the wrong hands, don’t store it, shred it!