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Oh I thought I'd gotten rid of those

Just like businesses need to collect and manage data, they also need to dispose and or destroy it. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) require organisations to pay fines up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act. Just recently, Hampshire County Council were fined £100,000 by the ICO after discarding highly sensitive documents in an abandoned building.

As well as legislative repercussions, not disposing of it in the correct manner can lead to some other unpleasant consequences, including:

  • Identity theft
  • Business fraud
  • Legal liability
  • Non-compliance fines

If you want to swerve these threats, then avoid these common mistakes:


It’s not just the wasted space documents take up that can be a nuisance. Under the Data Protection Act, you’re legally required to destroy your documents after their retention period has expired. According to the law, “Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or purposes.” Failure to comply can result in criminal prosecution or monetary penalties of up to £500,000. Be sure to include destruction dates in your record retention schedules.


While recycling is important some corporate recycling programs create information security risks. When employees make the mistake of recycling sensitive documents instead of destroying them, it leaves your the data vulnerable. Fortunately, a secure document destruction service, like that offered by Restore Datashred offers a solution for destroying and recycling your information. Your paper files are destroyed beyond recognition and all shredded material is responsibly recycled.


Simply put, a paper shredding machine doesn’t sufficiently destroy confidential documents beyond recognition; the data can still be stolen, especially when it lands in a rubbish or recycling bin. Our secure paper shredding services eliminate these risks. Secure, locked containers are delivered to your office and collected when filled. All collected material is then destroyed with industrial-grade equipment, rendering your information unidentifiable and impossible to reconstruct.


Even when “deleted” your data can still be accessed by knowledgeable criminals. The best way to combat this is by using a professional media destruction service, like Restore Datashred, to physically destroy redundant IT equipment and data storage devices such as:

  • Data tapes
  • Portable hard drives
  • Mobile devices
  • Computers and laptops

Once destroyed, a professional destruction service will shred your IT assets into tiny particles and dispose of all electronic waste in accordance with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive).


It’s easy to forget but branded items (uniforms, promotional goods etc.)which are not properly disposed of, can leave your business vulnerable to fraud or theft just like confidential data can. These items should also be securely and completely destroyed. With a turnkey professional document destruction solution, any items that run the risk of being counterfeited and/or misused are destroyed alongside your paper and electronic records. To find out more about Restore Datashred’s branded product disposal service.


Your company has to prove it has destroyed information in accordance with The Data Protection Act, so don’t make the mistake of not documenting your disposal practices. A professional document shredding and information destruction provider issues a Certificate of Destruction each time your information is destroyed, so you always have legal proof of the time and date of disposal.

These mistakes are as simple to make are they are to fix, so make sure you’re aware of them before you carry out your data destruction or document shredding.