Confidential Document Disposal: Facts & Risks You Should Be Aware Of

Posted  March 03, 2021  by  Jenny Green

Shredded paper

Confidential Document Disposal: Facts & Risks You Should Be Aware Of

Confidential document disposal. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, destroying confidential documents is not as straightforward as shredding paper. If done incorrectly, the sensitive information of your company, customers and employees can easily fall into the wrong hands.
In fact, when it does – the data breaches that arise from this are not only inconvenient, but potentially damaging beyond recovery, owing to reputational harm and the resulting fines that can be handed out by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. By entrusting the document destruction services of Shred-it, you can be rest assured that your confidential information remains confidential. Because we protect what matters – and what matters to us is the security of your business.
In the meantime, to help you inspire security within your organisation, this article will uncover some of the facts and risks you should be aware of, by dispelling commonly held myths surrounding confidential document disposal.

Myth: Destroying Documents with an Office Shredder Saves Time and Money

Incorrect. Do-it yourself shredding is actually likely to increase costs and reduce employee productivity for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the amount of time it takes employees to gather, sort and shred the documents is often underestimated.
Once you factor in the time it then takes for them to manually shred documents, this means staff are taken away from the tasks they were hired to do. Not forgetting the fact that employee negligence and human error accounts for 24% of all data breaches1, which only increases when manually shredding.
Similarly, office shredders are often strip shredders – and the long strips that are left behind can be easily reassembled, increasing the risk of a data breach exponentially with data thieves always on the look out for their next opportunity.
For legislative compliance, companies may be required to have proof that documents have been securely shredded. Of course, do-it yourself shredding doesn’t come with any records, unlike our document destruction services, where you receive a certificate of destruction after every shred.

Myth: Confidential Shredding Companies Don’t Care for the Environment

Shred-it is committed to protecting your personal information and our planet. By entrusting our confidential shredding services and implementing a workplace Shred-it All Policy, you can rest assured that your confidential information won’t end up in the wrong hands and that all of your paper waste is being securely recycled.

Myth: Confidential Document Disposal Doesn’t Matter When Working Remotely

Untrue. In fact, there are a number of added data security risks that come with remote working – and since the start of COVID-19, there has been a significant rise in phishing and fraud scams2. But working from home also presents many physical threats, which, if not addressed, can increase the risk of a data breach.
Shred-it can help you manage and mitigate any physical security threats with our secure, purpose-built white bags to store all confidential documents. Staff simply seal these bags and return them when they’re next in the office, or arrangements can be made to collect the bags from their front door for shredding. Either way, we’ll securely shred and recycle the confidential information and then issue you with a certificate of destruction.

Myth: Only Big Companies Get Fined by the OAIC

Sorry, also incorrect. Sure, headlines are often filled with the eye-watering fines handed out to megacorps who have suffered a data breach – like this unlucky bunch3 who have been fined a collective $1.45bn (and counting). But unfortunately, no single business is immune from the long arms of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
In 2020 alone, 1,051 businesses of all shapes and sizes in Australia reported suffering a data breach4 to the OAIC. But more worrying still is the fact that 38% of these breaches were as a result of human error. So, when it comes to protecting your personal information, why take the chance? Give yourself peace of mind and entrust the services of a confidential document disposal specialist like Shred-it.
1 2019 Cost of a Data Breach
2 COVID cybercrime: 10 disturbing statistics to keep you awake tonight
3 The biggest data breach fines, penalties and settlements so far
4 Australia had 1051 data breaches in 2020.

This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.

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