Busting Myths About Document Shredding

Thursday, December 17, 2015 10:30 am, Posted by Absolute Destruction

If your office is anything like ours, then talk around the water cooler has been about how the Discovery channel show, Mythbusters, will be airing its final season in January of next year. After 2,950 experiments conducted and 1,050 myths busted, show creators have decided that they have debunked enough tall tales to safely end their series. As fans of the show, we’ll be sad to see it go and out of respect, we’re donning our berets and artfully twirled moustaches to bust some myths of our own.

While we leave the fire and explosions to the experts, we’re going to sort out fact from fiction in our area of expertise – shredding. As we continue to grow across the GTA as the leading document destruction service, we get to talk to a lot of people. In engaging with our clients, we learn about the misconceptions they have about shredding. Today, we’re going to dispel the three most common myths surrounding the business.

First and foremost, people think that they don’t need to shred. This belief isn’t just wrong, it’s downright dangerous. Cases of identity theft and commercial data breaches are in fact on the rise. Without shredding important documents that record contact information and account details, these files are at the mercy of whoever finds them, contributing to these growing numbers of cases.

For individuals, your personal information can be used to open false accounts under your name. While a stranger makes purchases with these accounts, it’s your name and credit score that bears the brunt of their wild shopping spree, and you can be dealing with the consequences of these false charges for years. For businesses and organizations, if the personal information you collected from clients gets exposed to fraud, you’ll be dealing with more than just bad credit scores. There are significant legal ramifications, including hefty fines delivered to any company or institution that exposes its clients to fraud. Under PIPEDA and PHIPA, both private and medical organizations can be charged.

This brings us to the second most common myth that we hear. Many people acknowledge the legal need for shredding, but they think that their household or business doesn’t generate enough paper to justify the need for a shredding service. A recent study conducted by the Australian Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) found that the average office employee uses anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 piece of paper a year. The average American uses the equivalent of Douglas Fir’s worth of paper each year. That’s a lot of paper, and more likely than nought most of that paper will contain important information.

Like our Australian and American counterparts, we use more than enough paper each year. But when faced with an individual file (whether in the home or at the office), most Canadians will shred it by hand before putting it in the recycling. Many believe that a few rips through a file is enough to protect their information, which ties into our next myth.

The third most common myth revolves around how identity thieves are stealing information. Though we’ve explained time and time again that thieves will rifle through garbage and recycling bins, many people don’t think this is true. Searching through trash is common practice among many. Plenty of people go through bins to collect bottles and other collectibles, and they sort through any private files sharing the same space as these items do it. It’s not these bottle collectors that you have to watch for, but it does illustrate how simple it is to go through someone else’s garbage. For those with the intent to steal personal account information, it can be as easy as waiting for the cover of night to go through company and individual trash to find the details that they need. They’ll make short work of hand-shredded files and retrieve any account number and personal information that they can find.

Now that we’ve waded through some of the fiction surrounding shredding, it’s important that you take advantage of the facts. Protect yourself or your company from the risks of identity theft by employing an experienced mobile shredding service like us. Our secure mobile shredding trucks are the only way to completely destroy any paper documents that could otherwise be used against you. So give us a call to schedule your shredding appointment, and we’ll bust any other myths you may have heard before. But don’t worry – when our bonded, uniformed representatives arrive at your door, we’ll be sure to leave the berets and moustaches at home!

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