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How Your Confidential Documents Could End Up Halfway Across the World

More and more businesses are recycling-which is a good thing. According to a recent Washington Post article, 52.8 million tons of United States paper and paperboard were collected for recycling in 2011. Where does all of this recycled paper go? The same article revealed that about 15.8 million tons of it was sent to China, which receives much of our waste. This is especially concerning given that confidential information that is improperly or altogether neglected to be shredded could result in your corporate records ending up halfway around the world.

A Thorough Shredding Process by a Reputable Vendor Minimizes Risk

Because of the risk of data breach, it’s important that your sensitive documents be shredded by a reputable shredding service provider. A thorough professional shredding and destruction process involves several key steps:

  • Collection of shredded material by a screened document management professional
  • Shredding of files and documents to strict specifications
  • Baling of shredded material
  • Recycling of baled shredded material
  • Delivery of Certificate of Destruction to client

Strict oversight and chain of custody during each and every step is essential to reduce the risk of data breaches.

Unfortunately, it is common for many service providers to cut corners in an attempt to increase profits. For example, a recycling company may skip the shredding process altogether, instead transporting your intact documents overseas and thus increasing the likelihood of unauthorized access. Similarly, a company that doesn’t used properly vetted employees puts your sensitive information at risk. Your outsourced shredding partner should adhere to a strict screening policy which includes:

  • Pre-employment background checks for criminal activity
  • Random drug testing
  • Credit checks
  • Driving record verification

How and When Your Records are Shredded is Vital to Privacy Protection

Business records that are not thoroughly shredded run the risk of being compromised. Shredding size does matter. Your shredding partner should utilize equipment that shreds your files and documents to ½-inch pieces using the crosscut method. This greatly decreases the chances of confidential data literally being pieced back together.

The longer records sit waiting to be shredded the greater the chances of confidential records being compromised. This is especially important if you’re paying for an off-site shredding service. This risk of compromise means your service provider should shred your documents and files within 24 hours of receiving them.

Ultimately, wherever your information ends up, you want to make sure that it’s not going to be exposed or misused in any way. The right professional shredding and destruction partner eliminates this risk by making sure that your confidential documents and files are completely destroyed.

Records Management Center provides businesses throughout Augusta, Evans, Thomson, and Martinez, GA, as well as Aiken, SC and the Central Savannah River Area with shredding and destruction solutions for thorough final disposition of confidential business information. To find out more, please get in touch with us by phone or fill in the form on this page.