6 Shredding Myths

Myth #1: Only large companies have confidential documents to shred.

Fact: All companies regardless of size have confidential documents that they are required, by law, to shred. (Click here to read our “What To Shred” list.)

Myth #2-It costs less to use an office shredder than it does to hire a shredding company.

Fact: Small businesses that operate an office shredder spend, on average, 15 minutes of staff time each and every day, shredding confidential documents. When you consider the average hourly wage, plus benefits and factor in depreciation and maintenance costs on the shredder, it costs over $95 per month to operate an office shredder. That's nearly twice as much as our regularly scheduled, on-site shredding pickup service. (Click here to calculate your own office shredder costs.)

Myth #3-Using an office shredder is just as secure as using a shredding service.

Fact: Office shredders yield shredded paper that can easily be reassembled by “dumpster divers”. However the biggest risks associated with office shredders lies in how they are used. Many companies leave stacks of paper near their office shredder to be shredded later, while others use unskilled, low-paid workers that are more likely than others to mishandle confidential information.

Myth #4-An information security breach can’t happen to us.

Fact: Information security breaches have occurred in almost every conceivable industry. According to the non-profit watchdog group, PrivacyRights.org, since they began tracking data breaches in January, 2005 there have been nearly 100 million confidential records compromised per year. (Click here to read their Chronology of Data Breaches.)

Myth #5-The government never enforces fines for mishandling confidential information

Fact: Actually, the federal government and the state Attorneys General’s office do enforce fines for mishandling confidential information that could cost a business thousands or even millions of dollars. However the real issue is not whether your organization can afford to pay the fines, but whether it can survive the loss of business that comes from bad PR associated with a data breach of confidential customer information.

Myth #6-Recycling confidential documents is just as secure as shredding

Fact: Recycling without first shredding is simply not secure. Most recycling companies don’t shred your confidential documents. They first hand sort the paper (pure white paper is worth more money) and then they bale and ship everything overseas. That means your confidential information can be compromised at any point in their process.