Most companies understand the importance of handling sensitive documents with care. And yet, many companies still make mistakes in managing their records that can have dire consequences, sometimes even to the point of ruining the business.
As a business, you hold full responsibility for handling confidential or personal information such as your client data and must ensure that it doesn’t get lost or gets accessed by someone who doesn’t have the necessary permissions.
And a big part of a comprehensive document management system is paper shredding – lots of documents become unneeded or outdated, so storing them becomes unpractical and risky and you need a way to get rid of them.
But why is shredding such a useful method for document management?
Well, here are nine reasons why you should shred your document that should convince you without a shadow of a doubt that it’s the right way to go.
Table of Contents
Stay in Compliance with Laws and Regulations
All businesses need to be compliant with their local regulations and laws, and these include making sure that you protect your employee and customer data. There are even laws that define precisely which documents should be destroyed when no longer in use.
Shredding your documents serves as an efficient and cost-effective way to make sure that your records are destroyed and cannot fall into the wrong hands.
Avoid Identity Theft
Identity theft is a growing issue in today’s society, so businesses need to be especially careful when handling sensitive information that contains personal data about people.
Any kind of careless misplacement of documents could have terrible consequences for the people involved, so it’s better to have a clearly established process for shredding documents that is implemented promptly and documented so that there’s a record that can prove sensitive information has been destroyed.
Keep Your Business Information Safe
Businesses work hard to ensure that their information remains safe and protected from the competitors – if your strategies and secrets get leaked to the competition, your business could suffer a severe blow and lose its competitive advantage.
If you don’t have a process for handling confidential documents about your company’s functions, you’re facing serious risks from unethical competitors who might want to steal that information and use it to their advantage.
The first step to preventing this is to have a strict system for who has access to the information in the first place – only people who need to be involved in the process should be able to use it, and the entire process should be logged so that each document can be traced if necessary.
And obviously, just throwing away these types of documents is never a viable option – even a single record that ends up in the wrong hands could have catastrophic consequences.
But if you choose to shred these documents, you can rest assured that they are gone forever and that your business is protected.
Protect Your Employees
As a business, you are expected to keep your employee personal data safe. But that can be difficult, considering how much documentation gets produced for every employee each month.
Payment stubs, health records, time sheets, not to mention copies of ID documents – all of these need to be stored securely and destroyed when no longer needed.
That’s why you need to include all of these in your document management strategy and ensure that they get destroyed.
Don’t Forget to Protect Your Customers Too
Nothing could ruin the reputation of a business quicker than misplaced or lost personal data of their customers. We’ve seen time and time again how companies that get information stolen never recover from the public backlash and loss of credibility.
So, you should shred all documents that relate to your customers as soon as they are no longer needed. Not just for compliance or the need to keep your customer information protected, but also because your entire business may depend on it.
More Storage Space
Even if we look past the many security risks that not shredding old documents poses, you still need to face the un practicality of the process.
When you start compiling piles upon piles of old documents, you’ll inevitably run into a storage problem sooner or later. It’s shocking how much paper can accumulate if there’s no established process for destroying it.
Luckily, you can hire a document shredding services provider that can take over the process for you, so you don’t need to spend a lot of time figuring out how to organize it efficiently.
Organize Your Office Better
If you shred your documents, you will quickly notice how easier it will be to keep your records organized and your office uncluttered.
Without the old documents getting in the way, it will be much easier to sort and quickly locate records that are still necessary and important for day-to-day operations.
Improve Your Recycling Process
Companies face greater pressure to be environmentally-responsible and make sure to reduce their footprint.
And document shredding can help achieve that – with a secure and well-established shredding program, you can not only stay in compliance but also allow your paper materials to be recycled because shredded documents are much easier to process.
It’s Simply More Convenient
Lastly, document shredding makes the most sense for businesses that want to take control over how they handle their paper records.
And, finding someone to help you set up a shredding system isn’t even that difficult – many of the document scanning services that your company might be using usually also provide shredding services, so you might not even have to go out and find a new company to work with.
Alternatively, you could find an outside company that could perform a one-time document shredding service by coming to your premises and taking over the entire process.
Whatever way you choose, the amount of space that you free up, combined with the fact that you won’t risk the documents falling in the wrong hands, makes shredding an essential part of your document management process.
Brandon Harris is the owner of Smooth Photo Scanning Services, a well know photo digitizing service provider, slideshow services in New Jersery. Prior to that, Brandon owned and operated a small bakery. Other than working to grow and improve his business, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and family.