A look into what confidential shredding is, who should be doing it and why…
What is confidential shredding?
These days, we live in a world full of data, and much of this data is confidential. In fact, any personal information that can be used to identify someone, from their name and address to any financial data they have, can be classed as confidential. So, there’s a lot of it out there. Especially if you run a business. You’ve got invoices, payslips, emails, bank details, letters – you get the picture. And all of this data needs protecting, for the individual’s sake and for the sake of your business. But that protection shouldn’t stop when the data’s no longer needed. It needs to be protected from the moment you have it to the moment it’s destroyed. And this is where confidential shredding comes in. With the help of a good shredding service, you can shred your confidential data quickly and efficiently, via industrial-standard machinery and security-vetted staff. All of which will ensure your data is secure to the end and, importantly, destroyed.
How has it changed?
At Printwaste, we created our confidential shredding division back in 1998, in line with the recently introduced Data Protection Act (1998). This act was brought in to regulate the use and protection of personal data, and the responsibilities a business had to protect that data. In short, this meant businesses had to ensure they were handling, storing and destroying confidential data properly. Twenty years on, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, as well as a new Data Protection Act in the UK. These new regulations focus more on liability than ever before, with potential fines for businesses who don’t comply, organisations that don’t process individuals’ data correctly, and for any data breaches. So, it’s more important than ever to look after any data you have.
Who needs to shred and why?
With GDPR and the Data Protection Act (2018) in mind, clearly, one of the main reasons to shred centres around compliance. As a business or organisation, you are liable, and you must show you are handling data correctly. By shredding your confidential materials, you’ll help your business comply with these laws and avoid any hefty fines. And, talking of money, data breaches can be costly, both on your finances and for your reputation. Having a solid shredding system in place will help to prevent these breaches from happening, protect your business from identity theft and fraud, and even avoid corporate espionage. Shredding also makes recycling easier (great for your sustainability goals), saves time and storage space, and helps build customer and employee trust.
Of course, while all businesses and organisations have a legal obligation to shred, certain sectors rely on shredding more than others. For example, a small design agency is unlikely to have anywhere near as much confidential data as a large law firm, in the same way a hospital will have a much higher volume than a local retailer. So, if you work in sectors such as legal, medical, finance and banking, insurance, government or education, you’re likely to be dealing with much larger volumes of confidential waste.
What can we shred?
Here at Printwaste, we securely destroy the following confidential materials:
- Confidential paper – E.g. Invoices, employee records and payslips.
- Hard-drives and media – E.g. Computers, laptops and mobile phones.
- Branded products – E.g. Uniforms, business cards and damaged goods.
We also offer on-demand clearances for retained, larger volumes of confidential files.
Look out for Part Two, which will explain how this all happens in practice…