5 Reasons to Shred Paper
Most of us are aware of how our personal data is stored on the internet, and we’re now much more mindful of keeping our passwords secure than we were just a decade ago. But should you shred all your redundant office documents? Is it necessary? Or is discarding them with your general waste sufficient?
We’ve identified several reasons why it’s essential to shred your unwanted paper…
1 Risk of Fraud / Identity Theft
For any business, fraud or identity theft is catastrophic. Taking steps and having a protocol in place to prevent these issues is essential.
To avoid employee confusion over exactly what paper documents need to be shredded, ensure your company has an ethos of ‘shred everything and shred it regularly’.
Make certain that any redundant computer equipment is securely dismantled and disposed of by professionals, and don’t forget to destroy old uniforms that could be stolen and used to forge identity.
2 Non-Compliance with GDPR
With the EU General Data Protection Regulations coming into force in May 2018, the need has been heightened for all businesses to show data records are kept and transferred in the appropriate way.
Whilst every business is different in scale and size, the new laws mean that hefty fines of up to 4% of turnover or up to £20 million can be issued (whatever’s the largest) if your business is found to be non-compliant. Shredding redundant documents regularly helps to demonstrate that your company is dedicated to preventing data protection breaches.
3 Environmental Responsibility
We’re all encouraged to recycle our paper and cardboard at home, and it’s no different in the modern office. Shredded paper handled by professionals can easily be baled and recycled to be made into newspaper, tissues, paper towels and other items such as egg boxes or paper cups. Check that your current data destruction partner is recycling everything they collect from you.
Knowing that your redundant office paper is being transformed back into alternative items rather than ending up in landfill shows your commitment to corporate responsibility and dramatically helps reduce your business’s carbon footprint.
4 Best Working Practice
Keeping up-to-date records of purchases, employee records, financial data and reports is best working practice for any business. Should your business be audited, you need to prove there is a relevant and honest paper trail to show the authorities. Documents such as financial statements and bank documents should ideally be kept for 6 years along with a scanned copy electronically filed on a secure IT system. After 6 years, the hard copies can be destroyed, with shredding is the most secure and environmentally friendly way to do so.
5 Decluttered Workspace
If your desk is a cluttered, paper-swamped mess it can make you feel out of control and disorganised.
We’re all aspiring to the vision of a ‘paper free’ office. For many organisations and business types, this still feels quite a way off.
Simply making a few changes such as considering ‘do I really need a hard copy of this?’ is one good way of cutting down on the amount of paper on your desk. Not only does this save on paper. It also helps avoid the risk the paper being stolen should it be left lying around. If you don’t need the document anymore, make sure it’s securely disposed of in a secure shredding sack or lock and slot console.