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Why is Document Shredding Important?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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Document shredding is a process used to destroy paper documents by cutting the paper into very small pieces. There are two main reasons why document shredding is important: to prevent identity theft and safely dispose of confidential information. A document shredder ranges in size from a small garbage can to a large disposal bin.

Identify theft is a multibillion dollar industry that is used to fund organized crime. Specialized equipment, infrastructure and skills are necessary to create fake identification. One or two pieces of personal information from your garbage are all that is required to steal your identity.

Banks, hospitals and financial companies are all well-known sources of confidential information that must be shredded to preserve client confidentiality. However, the responsibility for managing the disposal of confidential documents is a high priority in all industries. Shareholders, investors and internal staff are all motivated to obtain access to confidential information. A systematic document shredding process has become a standard part of file management programs in many large corporations.

Any firm that provides a service where there is an expectation of privacy is legally required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that privacy is protected. When confidential information needs to be disposed of, the most secure method is the complete destruction of the document. Document shredding allows firms to quickly and efficiently destroy documents. Once documents have been shredded, they can be recycled with no risk to the company.

There are three methods of document shredding available: cross tab, strip cut and professional firm. All methods provide an equal level of assurance that the documents have been destroyed. Document shredding is a simple and effective way to completely dispose of all personal, private and confidential information.

Both the cross tab and strip cut shredders can be purchased as stand-alone machines for personal use. Professional shedding firms provide large bins, where the documents for shredding are placed. As part of the service, a large shredding truck comes once a week to dispose of the documents using the shredder built into the truck. This option is the preferred solution for firms who have a large volume of confidential documents for shredding on a recurring basis.

Document shredding is becoming increasingly important as information has become a highly valued commodity. The machines required to shred documents are inexpensive and widely available. If you decide to purchase a document shredder for personal use, check the warranty details with care. The blades can become loose over time and may need to be replaced.

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Discussion Comments
By Yeates — On Dec 10, 2014

We agree with the importance of shredding. In the UK, you can be fined up to £500,000 if your company fails to destroy confidential information effectively.

Onsite secure shredding allows you to have piece of mind and witness highly confidential documents being destroyed prior to them leaving the site.

By RogerW88 — On Jul 08, 2013

I agree with Mike. This is a great discussion on the importance of shredding documents. As stated, identity theft is out there and occurring more then we think! These thieves are able to use whatever they can get there hands on, information wise, to gain access to anyone's personal accounts. I highly recommend using one even if you have a small business.

By MikeCherone — On Jul 12, 2010

Great discussion about the importance of paper shredding. My company is currently using a service for all of our shredding needs. It's an amazing service, and saves us hours of lost time.

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