Information Destruction Options

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 21:50 -- master
Header: 

From On-Site Shredding To Recycling…What You Need To Know About Your Information Destruction OptionsThere are many information disposal options from which you may choose. You can hire a shredding service, purchase an office shredder or simply recycle. The cost of each option varies, as does the level of security.Shedding ServicesShredding companies offer three types of shredding services, on-site and off-site. These services are similar in some respects because your documents and other confidential materials are placed in locked bins and then picked up at your location by a uniformed shredding company driver. Bins are usually provided free of charge and service is scheduled at regular intervals (usually weekly, bi-monthly or monthly).

Sub Section: 
On-Site Shredding

Level of Security - On-site shredding is a process that offers a high level of information security.The Process - As the name implies, on-site shredding means that all confidential materials are shredded on-site, at your location. With on-site shredding a mobile shredding truck will arrive at your location and shred all your confidential information on-site. You can also watch the process from the beginning to end, giving you peace of mind that your confidential information was completely destroyed.Cost- Prices range from $65.00 to $80.00 for on-going service.Conclusion - If your organization requires that you view the shredding process, choose a company that offers on-site shredding. 

Plant-Based Shredding

Level of Security – Plant-based shredding is a process that offers a high level of information security at a lower cost.The Process – A uniformed driver removes the confidential materials from your locked bin and places them in a larger locked container. From there they are secured in a locked shredding company truck and brought back to a plant-based facility to be shredded. Once at the facility, the driver brings all the locked security containers into the plant, and the materials are shredded by certified workers, under video surveillance. Many plant-based shredding companies will also allow you to accompany the material and witness the actual shredding.Cost- Prices are usually lower than on-site shredding. They range from $45.00 to $60.00 for on-going service.Conclusion - If you want a shredding process that is both economical and highly secure choose a plant-based shredding company that allows you to witness the shredding process. 

Off-Site Shredding

Level of Security – Off-site shredding is a process that does not guarantee any security.The Process – A uniformed driver removes the confidential materials from your locked bin and places them in a larger locked container. From there they are placed in a locked shredding company truck and brought back to an unsecure, remote location (such as a parking lot) to be shredded. Off-site shredding is not as secure as plant-based shredding, because NO ONE, not the client, not a shredding company supervisor, and not the security cameras will witness the driver actually shredding the documents during the off-site process.Cost- Prices are usually the same as plant-based shredding. They range from $45.00 to $60.00 for on-going service.Conclusion - If a shredding company offers to shred your confidential documents “off site” ask where the actual shredding will take place. If they tell you they shred at a location that is anything but a highly-secure plant facility (with supervisors, video surveillance and alarms) then you should choose another shredding company. 

Do It Yourself Shredding (The Office Shredder)

Level of Security – Office shredders offer limited information security.The Process - Employees get rid of your confidential documents by “feeding the shredder.” Unfortunately, in many organizations the person chosen to perform this task is an entry-level employee making near minimum wage. They are also the most likely candidates to mishandle confidential information and that can put your organization at risk.Cost - It sounds like a cost effective method, but when you consider that the average office shredder only shreds eight pages of paper at once, office shredding can easily take hours of employee time each and every week. Factor in wages and benefits, the initial cost of the shredder, plus upkeep of the equipment (blades have to be professionally sharpened) as well as depreciation of the shredder, do it yourself shredding can cost nearly twice as much as a shredding service.Conclusion - Do it yourself shredding is better than not shredding at all, but it can cost up to twice as much as a shredding service and still leave your organization vulnerable to audits and lawsuits. 

Recycling

Level of Security - None. When a company gives away paper for recycling they relinquish all rights to the information. If confidential information was not properly shredded and it falls into the wrong hands, your organization will be held liable.The Process - Recycling your confidential documents is a dangerous practice. Here’s why. Most recycling companies hire minimum wage workers who have not undergone criminal background checks or random drug testing. These workers sort your documents, often in unsupervised areas. Then the sorted paper is stored for days, weeks or even months, until there is enough to sell. Your confidential documents, still intact, are then baled and sold to the highest bidder, where they may be stored again for even longer periods, until they are finally used to make new products.Cost - None. Many recycling firms will pay for your recycled paper.Conclusion - Never give your confidential documents directly to a recycling company. If you’re concerned about the environment, use a shredding company that not only recycles but also controls your confidential information throughout the entire process by baling your shredded paper in their own plant.