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Mistakes Companies Make With Document Destruction

Companies must periodically dispose of archived documents to protect sensitive information and free up space—all that paper can really add up. Even digital data can outlive its usefulness and require a thorough elimination process. Whether digital or analog, businesses must act efficiently, intelligently, and sustainably when destroying old documents. Make sure to avoid these mistakes companies make with document destruction, as they can lead to data breaches or unnecessary waste.

Not Recycling Shredded Paper

Save a tree! You may be ready to trash all that paper, but the shredded paper should go to the recycling bin instead, where those old documents can go on to form post-consumer paper products and reduce our need for new trees. Just be sure you shred thoroughly—you never know who’s poring over your refuse looking for sensitive information.

Getting Too Shredder-Happy

There’s something cathartic and just plain fun about sending paper through the shredder. It’s so easy to get caught in that robotic routine of feeding paper through the shredder—and sometimes, we shred a little more than we should. Accounting records that may seem obsolete are still worth keeping intact. And those years of tax returns might prove useful down the road. Have your fun with the shredder, but go over a list of important business documents and request guidance from your legal, financial or other advisors before turning the shredder on.

Taking Digital Destruction for Granted

Have you ever had a glitch on your laptop threaten the existence of your beloved personal files, only for a benevolent tech wizard to do the impossible and restore what was once thought lost? If you’ve had a close encounter with digital oblivion, you’ve learned that experienced hands can pull files back from the brink. The hard drives on company-owned laptops and smartphones require more than point-clicking documents to the trash can to remove them. If you need to eliminate all traces of sensitive info, consider wiping the disk clean with degaussing hardware. When that’s not enough, physically destroy the drive altogether. If needed, request direction from an expert so that you’re sure all your information is no longer available.

Keeping Destruction In-House

Some jobs are bigger than others, but sometimes you don’t have the necessary hardware on your own premises. Office shredders are prone to jams, and pulling employees aside to put them on shredder duty can eat up a lot of their time. If you have too much paper and not enough shredders, it’s time to outsource. One of the biggest mistakes companies make with document destruction is overestimating their ability to do it alone. If you’re staring down an imposing wall of paper-filled boxes to destroy, it’s time to call the pros.

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