Document Shredding Mistakes You Should Always Avoid

Information security and data protection are important for businesses. It’s the core of every company’s operation and when it gets compromised, legal and financial losses will be the next scenario. This is why many businesses, big or small, practice the proper document retention and disposal. One of this is shredding the confidential files to avoid leaks and identity theft. Even if you’re already shredding, you might be committing these mistakes:

1. Not scheduling your shredding

Shredding documents shouldn’t be a ‘once in a while’ habit, it should be a privacy protocol routine. Scheduling which documents are due for disposal will help you declutter your office and avoid the old sheets from stacking up. The more paper you store, the higher chance of losing some of it. The worst part is it’s also less likely to be detected that something is missing.

Aside from this, different governing laws and bodies require companies to have a scheduled shredding. If you don’t comply, fines are on its way.

2. Shredding stuff your machine can’t handle

If you only bought a paper shredder, never assume that it can manage to destroy CDs just because other models can. Before purchasing a shredder, make sure that you know what materials you’ll need to shred. Don’t force your shredder to chew things that it’s not made to destroy. Most likely, your machine won’t last long and you’ll be experiencing jams frequently. If you’re planning to shred paper with staples and clips, make sure that your shredder is equipped with it. Do this for your information security and data protection.

information security and data protection

3. Not disposing of your shredded paper properly

Your shredded paper shouldn’t go straight to the dumpsite. Many treatment facilities usually get the shredded paper from offices for them to recycle. If you’re accumulating bags of shredded paper per month, you should contact a treatment facility to dispose of it.

You can use your shredded paper in your mulch if you want to. This is also a good material for art projects and a DIY litterbox for your cat. Whatever you do with it, make sure that it’s recycled and not thrown to the trash.

4. Overshredding beyond machine’s runtime

A lot of shredders can run for a maximum of 2-10 minutes while others can be used continuously. Make sure to check the runtime of your machine and follow it. Overshredding beyond the runtime will damage your shredder if it doesn’t have a thermal protection system. Many shredder users saw billowing smoke from their machines when they tried to defy the motor’s capacity. If you have a lot to shred, get a machine that can run continuously.

5. Not knowing what documents to shred

When it comes to information security and data protection, not all documents should be shredded. Copies of files like birth certificates, some tax return documents, and insurance policies have to be kept. Before feeding your sheets to the machine, make sure that you scanned and saved a digital copy of it for future purposes. Usually, old utility bills, receipts, and junk mail go straight to the shredder. As long as there’s no apparent use for it and it contains your PII, shred it.

information security and data protection

6. Using a low-security shredder

Highly confidential documents need the highest security level when it comes to shredders. Micro-cut or crosscut types are the best choices for confidential documents while strip-cuts are for documents that don’t contain sensitive information. If you use a strip-cut machine for your files, say medical records, anyone can reassemble it and have access to the confidential data.

They key here is getting a high-security shredder for all the documents you need to dispose of. This is so you’ll have peace of mind.

7. Not fixing dull blades

Using your shredder for the whole month without oiling it even once will result in dull blades. Dull cutters can cause jams and unshredded sheets. Make it a habit to maintain your machine through oiling and routine cleaning. If it starts to malfunction, call an expert to fix it right away. This is so you won’t need to replace a shredder prematurely or compromise your information security and data protection. You should also check with the warranty of the cutter cartridge with the seller so you can save money instead of buying a new one.

8. Keeping the shredder on without using it

In almost every appliance you have at home, it’s almost a no-brainer that you should turn it off when not in use. This isn’t the case for some who uses their shredders. It’s understandable that auto shredding models have to be plugged all the time to maximize its ease of use. But if you’re not using it for a couple of hours, unplug it and let the motor rest. This is very much important even for shredders with the continuous runtime.

information security and data protection

9. Small business = no need for shredding

What small businesses think is that they are off the hook from proper document disposal just because they aren’t one of the big fishes. Well, it’s time to bust this myth. As long as you handle private documents, you’ll have to shred it after use. Storing it in your office won’t just cause clutter, but it will also be easier for someone to steal a large pile without your knowledge.

Even if you’re just running a startup, shredding confidential documents will save you from a lot of trouble.

10. Investing in the cheapest shredder

The price of a shredder won’t dictate its functionality, but at some point, the cheapest ones are usually limited in features. Don’t invest in the cheapest machine that you’ll find. Learn to compare quality and price so you can make the most out of your purchase.

Maintaining your information security and data protection is crucial for your business and even personal transactions. Shredding confidential documents will leave fraudsters with no way to victimize you and your assets. Just make sure that you’ll avoid the mistakes I listed here so you can shred your way to a safer workplace. What do you think of these points? Share your thoughts with us!