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Why Is It Important for my Business to Shred Documents?

home-office-paper-shredderWith data protection and privacy being one of the largest concerns for businesses and entrepreneurs, many companies are now recognising that shredding is extremely important.

No matter the size of your business, there’s bound to be important documents and paperwork that contain sensitive information within your work environment. To ensure you aren’t the victim of a fraudulent attack, you’ll need to take necessary care to protect this data from falling into the wrong hands.

But why exactly is shredding documents the best way to privatise your data and how can your business benefit from safely disposing of important documents?

 

What Items Need to Be Shredded?

Shredding documents is not just a personal preference. Your business can be prosecuted if you don’t safely dispose of private material, and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have the right to prosecute you.

In order to comply with these terms and avoid the chance of being prosecuted, it’s advised to shred the following as a form of disposal when they are no longer needed:

  • Credit and debit card information
  • Pay slips
  • Photographic ID (including driving license and passport scans)
  • Bank statements

Along with an overall audit of the safety of your company, the ICO may also leave you with a costly fine of up to £50,000 depending on the severity and level of information breach. In conjunction with shredding private material, you can also ensure your documents are protected at the printing stage by installing network security such as SSL protection. This will stop intruders snooping at your files and minimise the risk of your documents being picked up by an external user.

Help with Recycling

As many businesses make becoming greener an objective, shredding provides an excellent way to become more ethical and sustainable (whilst complying with the law at the same time!).

Strip-cut paper shredders are excellent for this as they produce waste that can later be used to create high-quality, recycled paper. However, this option is not recommended for shredding paperwork of a highly sensitive nature as they have a less destructive process and cannot guarantee that all words will be illegible once the shredding cycle is complete.

Keeping Everyone Protected

It’s a common assumption that shredding will only protect the business performing the task, but shredding can also help to protect:

Employees

If sensitive information about your employees leaks outside the business, you face the risk of breaking the law and putting your staff in danger… Everybody has a right to privacy!

If you aren’t fully compliant with this and take a relaxed approach to disposing your employees’ sensitive data, you may put them in a position to be the victim of fraud and theft.

Customers

One of the main aims of a business owner is to keep their customers happy. They are the people that keep a constant flow of income to your company, after all!

A huge influencer in the relationship that a customer has with your brand is trust. They’re trusting you with their payment information, name and address – all of which could result in them being the victim of identity theft and fraud if this gets into the wrong hands.

Despite the majority of this information being stored electronically, it’s important to ensure that all sensitive material regarding your customers are only visible to the necessary trusted people within your business.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons why it’s important to ensure that personal data and important documents are shredded and disposed of appropriately when necessary. Not only can it help to protect your employees and business in general, but it can also help the environment!

A post by LewisRHumphries (47 Posts)

LewisRHumphries is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.
I am a writer and reseracher who lives in Birmingham, UK. I specilaise in finances and managing savings in a difficult economy.

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