Why use a secure shredding service?
The main reasons to shred are:
- To protect yourself from industrial espionage
- To comply with the Data Protection Act
- To defend against identity theft
- To prevent crime
Any office, any company, any organisation handles documents and other material which must remain confidential, whether they be personal details or commercially sensitive information. ALLShred secure data destruction ensures that the information you wish to protect will be safely destroyed and disposed of, never leaving your site until it has been shredded and secured ready for recycling.
Protection from industrial espionage
Every company has information and data that would be of value to its rivals or could damage its customers and stakeholders. The major cases that hit the headlines are the tip of the iceberg. Pricing information, new product launches, alternative marketing campaigns, investment and closure plans are all examples where small leaks of information can damage a company and strengthen a competitor.
For professional service companies who provide accountancy, legal and financial advice there are strict rules governing client confidentiality that are monitored by the respective professional bodies. The use of a recognised on-site secure shredding contractor providing a regular contract service is recommended as best practice by these professional bodies.
Many companies across a wide spread of industries are certified to ISO 9001 for their quality management systems. The most recent update ISO 9001 (2008) requires that a contract for secure destruction of information should be in place to ensure the protection of commercial and personal data.
Compliance with Data Protection Act 1998
The Act is concerned primarily with the rights of individuals about the collection, storage and processing of personal information about living persons. All organisations that hold any personal information about individuals on manual records or computers must observe eight guidelines about the data. The seventh guideline requires that the information is kept secure at all times, including at disposal. On-site secure shredding is recognised as the best way to comply with this guideline.
If the holder of the information has any processing of the information carried out by a contractor, then that contractor should be assessed for capability and a contract in place to ensure compliance with the Act. ALLShred Limited is registered with the Information Commissioner to process information by secure destruction under registration number Z9346569.
The Information Commissioner has significant powers under the Act and can impose a fine of up to £5000 for breaches of the Act. To date they have focussed upon ensuring improvements to achieve compliance rather than fines. Widespread publicity about high profile failures have cost offending companies many times the maximum fine in terms of loss of business and damage to reputation. In addition, regulatory bodies such as the Financial Services Authority have imposed fines in excess of £1 million on members that have not met their obligations under the Act.
Preventing identity theft and fraud
Private individuals can take many steps to minimise the risk of falling victim of identity theft. One of the simplest is to ensure that documents containing any personal information on themselves and other family members are destroyed in such a way that no one can collect the fragments. Criminals need only a few pieces of information to start the process of identity theft.
Bin raiding or ‘dumpster diving’ goes on in most parts of the country and is a prime source of income for many petty criminals with documents changing hands for £5 or £10 each.
The use of small office shredders to shred documents is a precaution of limited value, especially those that produce long strips of shred. Any sack of long strips of shred is the equivalent of a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. All the fragments from a limited number of sheets are enclosed so it is quite easy for any criminal to piece the linear fragments together. Any such sacks of shred are a tempting target for thieves.
Any small office shredder should be of the cross-cut variety as a minimum. Even then it is essential not to draw attention to the fragments when those are discarded.
The ALLShred secure shredding unit produces more than 20 million random shaped fragments for each tonne of paper shredded. So, when we unload a full truckload of 5 tonnes, your fragmented documents are part of 100 million fragments that are baled at an authorised recycling depot for return to the pulp mill.
Organisations often have other material that should be destroyed securely to prevent criminals from using it. Security passes, badges, access cards, uniforms and out of date company stationery can all be used as part of criminal acts. By using an on-site secure shredding company you eliminate opportunities for criminals.
What our clients say
We were impressed by the quiet and efficient way that ALLShred worked to clear the cabinets. We know we have preserved the confidentiality of the personal information of our candidates and as a bonus we have made the equivalent of 8 trees available for recycling.
ALLShred understood our needs and recommended a cost effective solution for our two different waste streams. We are delighted that we have found a company that is flexible and their collections have been very efficient.
I now feel happy that I can return to Australia and I have left no material behind that could be used by criminals to clone my identity. This is very important when you are going to the other side of the world. The ALLShred service has been superb and given me peace of mind.
I am now very happy that we can retire secure that we have done the right thing by our customers so that criminals cannot access our information. We will recommend them to our customers who have garages packed with old information.
This service is so quick and secure. When I think of the hours I have spent in the past with my home shredder, this is excellent value for money. I shall be back twice a year to keep on top of the archive.
Mr J E
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