The temptation to shred documents in-house is too great. Business leaders see opportunity to reduce costs and believe that disposing of documents internally is more convenient.

Our recommendation: Don’t do it yourself. The dangers of in-house document shredding outweigh any potential costs saved — and put your company at greater risk. Conducting your own document destruction diverts resources that should be focused on serving your customers. Our document management experts can help you save time and money, keep your valuable information secure and your workplace safer.

Chances are your organisation’s primary function isn’t shredding and disposing of documents. Here are four of the main risks of do-it-yourself (DIY) document destruction and how you can avoid them.

1. Unintended Consequences: Fire or Explosion

Dust accumulates as a result of paper shredding. The strips and bits of cut-up paper are easily combustible. It takes just one spark from the shredder teeth hitting a paper clip to ignite a blaze or touch off a dust explosion.

Consumer- and office-grade shredders can overheat and catch the highly flammable paper on fire. Your best bet is to count on document-disposal professionals who operate offsite shredding facilities protected by systems designed to guard against paper-dust collection and potential fires. An alternative is onsite disposal in which specially equipped lorries are used for shredding documents on your premises but outside of your buildings.

2. In the Breach: It’s Tough to Secure Shredding

In-house shredding often leaves decisions about whether to destroy documents up to employees who do not have the proper training or experience in records retention and disposal. This scenario creates more opportunities for errors. As a result, information can be retained too long or improperly discarded, possibly releasing private information that can be found and used by unauthorised people.

Using consumer- or office-grade shredders that cut paper into long strips creates additional risk. These strips can be pieced together to retrieve confidential information. Professional shredding services use machinery that crosscuts documents into confetti-sized bits that are then mixed with shredded documents from other businesses. This advanced process makes it impossible for your documents to be reassembled.

Commercial hard-drive destruction services can properly destroy computer storage devices that contain your business information. In addition, these services can properly dispose of floppy disks and other electronic storage media, such as tape and thumb drives. Commercial- and office-grade shredders are just not up to the task.

3. Audit Trail: Where’s the Proof of Proper Destruction?

Shredding documents in-house does not provide your organisation with a Certificate of Destruction needed as evidence for any legal or regulatory investigation. A certificate from an independent document-disposal professional is proof that your business information was handled in ways that comply with all laws, regulations, polices or agreements.

4. Hidden Costs: DIY Shredding Decreases Productivity

Office shredders require maintenance and are slow compared to commercial shredding equipment. The time and money required for DIY shredding perhaps can be better spent on your core business and customers. Shredders also are messy, and that means someone has to clean up after them.

You Need an Expert Shredding Partner

Secure data destruction is a crucial job. Is your company really prepared to do it properly and safely — and without detracting from your main focus on your customers?

Recall counts on our strict chain-of-custody procedures to protect your valuable information at every step of the pickup, storage and destruction process.

Recall offers a variety of secure document destruction services to help you properly destroy your obsolete and sensitive information saved as paper documents and in files and cartons. We retrieve and haul your information in our secure lorries to a Recall-protected destruction centre, where it’s shredded following strict procedures and then recycled whenever possible. Afterward, you receive a Certificate of Destruction.

As your business partner, Recall ensures that your information is properly handled throughout its life cycle. That way, you can stay focused on meeting your customers’ needs.

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