Common Misconceptions about Shredding

Jun 17, 2024

A confused business person stands with hands on hips while looking at many directional arrows drawn on a large whiteboard.In today’s world, we’re bombarded with information, making it hard to separate fact from fiction. The internet, while a fantastic resource, can also spread myths at lightning speed. Fortunately, resources like MythBusters, Snopes, and help us uncover the truth. When it comes to misconceptions about shredding, this blog aims to set the record straight.

Sources of Misconceptions

Misconceptions often arise for several reasons, not always with malicious intent. Here are a few common causes:

  • Telephone Effect: Much like the game of telephone, where a message becomes distorted as it’s passed along, information can become inaccurate as it spreads.
  • Assumptions: People often make assumptions without double-checking the facts, leading to misinformation.
  • Convenience: Sometimes, people prefer quick and simple answers that align with their existing beliefs or desires.

Here, we’ll debunk three common misconceptions about shredding and provide the correct solutions.

Misconception #1: Recycling is a Solution to Shredding

Recycling is fantastic for the environment, keeping paper and metals out of landfills and turning them into new products. However, directly placing paper documents and electronic storage devices into recycling bins can be risky. The information on these items is unprotected and can easily be accessed by identity thieves. Criminals often search through recycling containers to find readable documents that can be reconstructed and hard drives that contain sensitive information.

If you recycle without shredding your documents or drives that hold private information, you are not only risking identity theft but also breaking privacy laws.

Solution #1

Partner with a professional shredding company. Such companies ensure that your documents and discarded media storage devices are shredded in compliance with privacy laws. After shredding, you’ll receive a Certificate of Destruction as proof. Additionally, your shredded materials will be recycled properly, stay out of landfills, and be transformed into new products.

Misconception #2: DIY Destruction is a Solution to Shredding

Buying a shredder from an office supply store might seem like a cost-effective solution for small amounts of paper. However, DIY shredding has several drawbacks:

  • Inconsistent Results: Personal shredders may not destroy paper to a level where the information can’t be read or reconstructed.
  • Time-Consuming: Shredding large quantities of paper can be tedious, taking up valuable staff time.
  • Costly: You’ll incur initial costs for the shredder and ongoing expenses for repairs and replacements, not to mention valuable employee time spent shredding paper.
  • Limited Use: Personal shredders can handle paper but not electronic media storage devices.
  • Trying to destroy electronic media storage devices yourself is even more problematic:
  • Safety Concerns: Manually destroying hard drives and other electronics can be dangerous.
  • Incomplete Destruction: There’s no guarantee that the information is completely unretrievable after a DIY attempt.
  • Recycling Issues: Disposing of electronic drives at a metals recycling depot can be a significant hassle, and removes your control over how they are handled and destroyed.

Solution #2

Work with a shredding company that destroys both paper and electronic drives. This is the safest and most secure way to ensure your information is destroyed in compliance with state and federal privacy laws. A NAID AAA Certified shredding company provides confidence that your information is properly destroyed, leaving no chance for reconstruction.

Misconception #3: Storing Documents and Old Drives is a Good Alternative to Shredding

Holding onto confidential documents longer than required exposes your company to data breaches. Once the retention period for these documents ends, they must be destroyed immediately to prevent unauthorized access.

Similarly, storing old hard drives, thumb drives, or other electronic storage devices puts your information at risk. These devices can be misplaced or stolen, and even attempts at a full deletion or reformatting can leave sensitive information vulnerable to retrieval. Keeping private information past its retention period violates privacy laws.

Solution #3

Use a professional shredding company to properly destroy your paper documents and electronic storage devices. For paper, securely store your documents in a locked shredding collection container until a professional shredding company technician arrives to collect them for destruction. You will receive a Certificate of Destruction upon completion, proving that your documents and drives are no longer stored and have been destroyed in accordance with privacy laws. Using a company that offers both services saves you money and time, providing a one-stop solution for all your shredding needs.

Don’t let misconceptions lead to non-compliance with privacy laws when a secure shredding company can solve all of these problems.

ShredPro Secure offers on-site paper shredding services in Tennessee and Virginia, ensuring both your paper and electronic devices are securely destroyed. Upon completion, you’ll receive a Certificate of Destruction. Stay compliant and protect your company’s information by calling us at 865-986-5444 or completing the form on this page.


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