Stealing information happens all the time in a bevy of ways. Whether it’s hacking a computer, stealing a credit card, or scamming someone over the phone, theft is no rarity these days. Since these crimes typically happen to personal devices, you might not even think about how at-risk your business is. However, when it comes to any hard copies of documents you have, those are also at risk if not properly disposed of. If a threatening individual got access to hard copies of your company documents, they can do quite a bit of damage with that information.
That’s why document shredding is such a vital step for businesses to take. By shredding your documents with a reputable service, you can dispose of them as securely as possible. This is a guide to how document shredding works to illustrate how shredding companies play an integral role in keeping your company safe.
Step 1: Determine the Amount of Paper
The first step of the shredding process begins with determining how much paper a company needs to shred. If you don’t have all the documents in one place, then begin doing so to prepare for the shredding process. If you don’t have proper containers for collecting the documents, don’t worry. Most shredding services, including The Shredding Company, will provide you with specialized containers for you to put the documents in.
Collecting the Documents
You can essentially choose to shred any form of document, such as medical records, taxes, client information, and employee information. There’s a seemingly endless list of confidential documents you can dispose of with the help of a shredding service. Plus, don’t worry about removing papers from folders and binders, or removing staples or paper clips either. The massive shredders that carry out this process will have no problem slicing through those objects with precision and ease.
Step 2: Choose an Effective Shredding Plan
Most shredding companies will have multiple shredding plans for businesses to choose from. For instance, you can opt for a plan that requires an individual to deliver the documents directly to the shredding facility. This is typically for businesses that only have a small number of documents to dispose of.
However, there are also off-site shredding plans, which means the shredding services bring their machines to your location. Then, you provide them with the paper as they shred it right before your eyes. There are even community shredding events that some shredding services will hold throughout the year. These events allow any nearby businesses or residents to shred documents with the help of mobile shredding units.
Step 3: Schedule Your Shredding Appointment
Once you know what you’re shredding and how you’re shredding it, you need to determine when you’re shredding. Shop around for local shredding services and see who has the best options for your specific needs. Once you find a shredding service that seems like a good fit, give them a call and set an appointment for your documents. If you live near Maryland, North Virginia or Washington, DC, then you can schedule an appointment with The Shredding Company whenever you’re ready for disposal.
However, if you don’t live in the area, don’t worry. There are shredding services throughout the country that can provide you with the right shredding plans and disposal security for your documents.
Step 4: Obtain Your Certificate of Destruction
At this point of the process, the document disposal is officially complete. However, there’s one more thing you have to make sure you get your hands on; the certificate of destruction. No, this isn’t a heavy metal album, it’s a document that contains important information about the whole disposal process. It’s essentially a receipt that you’ll receive that clarifies that the designated shredding service was able to abide by the necessary security laws and guidelines.
The word receipt may tempt you into throwing the document out when the process is over, but that’s not the right move. The certificate of destruction for your document disposal should be kept safe. That way, if you ever need to use it for purposes such as a lawsuit or audit, you’ll have no trouble finding it.
What’s on a Certificate of Destruction?
While understanding the purposes of a certificate of destruction is very important, there are more minute details you’ll need to know as well. If you do end up needing the document for an audit or lawsuit down the road, you need to know what each component of that certificate entails.
For instance, the certificate should have a transaction number on it. This number is unique to your specific transaction, so it’s vital for your certificate to have it clearly present.
The certificate will also break down the transfer of custody in regard to your documents, such as the date in which you gave them to the shredding service. The certificate of destruction will also have a date of destruction, along with the name of the individual in charge of the physical shredding process and the location at which the destruction took place. Once the shredding process is complete, it’s very important that you receive a certificate of destruction so you can have all this information ready if you ever need it in the future.
This guide to how document shredding works is something that can be of use for any and all companies. Whether you’re in charge of a restaurant or a law firm, you have confidential documents that need care and security for proper disposal. Dumping your tax information in the nearest trash bin is an easy way to compromise that information thanks to threatening individuals looking to profit from it.
At The Shredding Company, our document disposal services will bring our shredders directly to your business to carry out the shredding process. That way the process is not only easier for you, but it also gives you an opportunity to witness our team in action. Once you see how they efficiently and safely dispose of your documents, you’ll understand why document shredding is such a vital part of owning and operating a good business. Data breaches are no joke and can be easily avoidable with the help of a shredding service.