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Secure shredding: History, stats, and facts

secure shredding

A history of shredding

Secure shredding might seem like a relatively new concept to you, but in reality, shredding has been around for decades.

  • 1909: This year saw Abbot Augustus Low patent the idea of a shredder. He had been developing the idea (then known as a “waste-paper receptacle”) for a few years. However, although the concept was there, it was never actually created.

  • 1935: In this year, the first physical shredding machine was created by the German Adolf Ehinger. He based the device on a manual pasta maker and used it first to dispose of his documents.

  • 1959: Ehinger’s original hand operated shredder was replaced with a motorised shredding machine. Ehinger’s business developed and he sold these shredders to organisations such as banks and government institutions.

  • 1979: Years later, long strips of shredded paper from the American embassy in Iran were pieced together by Iranian revolutionaries. This demonstrated how ineffective some shredding techniques were when people were determined enough to discover information.

Secure shredding devices

Today, technology and the necessity of heightened security means that more advanced shredders are being used. These help to keep documents and data much more secure. This has been helped by the invention of rotating knives in shredders and cross-shredders with sets of rotating teeth. The more complex shredders of today can cross-cut documents into such tiny pieces that information from them can’t be garnered.

Your secure shredding

The security of your shredding will depend on how precise and effective a shredder is, as well as the determination and resources of those trying to piece together information. Although we have technology to thank for so many good shredders today, technology has also been able to provide clever ways for some documents to be reconstructed. Fortunately, modern paper shredders can cut to small and untraceable sizes.

The large industrial size state of the art shredding machines that Restore Datashred use are powerful enough to shred through staples, rubber bands, and paper clips. Reassuringly, once Restore Datashred take your documents to be shredded, we monitor your documents through the whole process, until it is eventually recycled. We can guarantee that any information we shred for you will be completely destroyed. There are many shredding options out there, but it is important to make sure you have the most secure shredding possible so that you are kept as safe as possible. This is why so many people have chosen to work with us.

secure shredding

What should be securely shredded?

All confidential data should be disposed of securely. For this to happen most effectively, it is best to use a shredding company that can thoroughly destroy any sensitive information found in documents. You might look to simply manually redact private details, but this is rarely sufficient to constitute secure data disposal. Whatever shredding you have to get done,  use a specialist company to ensure this is always done correctly.

Any personal or identifiable information about your colleagues and consumers needs to be destroyed at the right time to comply with GDPR. Although document retention is sometimes needed for a particular length of time for particular documents, you shouldn't compromise privacy by allowing these documents to take up space after the necessary time has passed. 

Secure shredding is needed for the protection of a company, its employees, and its customers. Even if you don’t think you handle a lot of confidential information, any information that could be perceived as sensitive, requires the appropriate disposal. This is particularly relevant for those in the industrial or commercial industries and those in government departments.

What shouldn’t be shredded?

There are many items that don’t need to be disposed of securely. Documents that should never be shredded include some legal documents, such as:

  • Birth certificates

  • Death certificates

  • Wills

  • Marriage licenses

  • Marriage certificates

  • Divorce papers

However, although not every piece of paper needs to be securely shredded, we know that many companies are operating outside of the law and not taking due diligence when it comes to document security.

This is why we want to encourage everyone to consider their own shredding practices and to update and enhance measures as necessary. This often requires training by an employer so that employees fully understand how to handle the information they deal with at work. If you don’t already, we’d urge you to evaluate the ways that your employees handle confidential data and how you can support them in carrying out proper paper disposal and secure shredding. 

You can find out more about what documents do and don't need to be shredded here.

secure shredding

Company security breaches

You’ve probably heard about security breaches on the news. Perhaps your own company has even had the misfortune of having a data breach occur. If this is the case, you’ll know how important is to implement secure shredding practices.

If data breaches (in either paper or digital form) do occur, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has the power to hand out hefty fines for this non-compliance.

Some action taken last year by the ICO includes the below:

  • 18 July 2018: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse fined £200,000 for revealing identities of abuse victims in mass email.

  • 9 August 2018: Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd, fined £140,000 for illegally collecting and selling personal information of over 1 million people.

  • 20 September 2018: Equifax Ltd fined £500,000 for failing to protect personal information of up to 15 million people during a cyber attack.

  • 28 September 2018: BUPA Insurance Services fined £175,000 for not having effective security measures to protect customers’ personal details.

  • July 2019: British Airways faced record fine of £183m for the breach of it's security systems that happened in 2018.

  • July 2019: Marriott fined nearly £100m after hackers stole the records of 339 million guests.

As you can see, there are numerous examples of failings in secure data handling, and the above are just some of them! The good news is that Restore Datashred can provide your company with data security through our secure shredding services.

Stats on secure shredding

A number of businesses don’t fully carry out proper data disposal procedures. In fact, in 2016:

  • 2168 data breaches were reported. This was up 19% on the previous year!

  • Data breaches were most prominent in the healthcare sector, which accounted for 40% of the breaches.

  • Local government were responsible for 10% of breaches and general business 9%.

  • From July to September, 40% of the security incidents were paper breaches.

  • These included loss/theft of paperwork (14%), paperwork posted/faxed to the wrong recipient (19%), data left in an insecure location (4%) and insecure disposal of paper (3%).

With nearly half of these security breaches coming from paper, it’s important to be confident that your papers are being handled correctly. Knowledgeable in secure shredding, Restore Datashred can help with this. We can ensure you keep your data secure and dispose of it correctly.

Despite a number of companies failing to handle data securely, 2016 saw the best sectors for data security being:

  • Media

  • Marketing

  • Utilities

  • Religious organisations

  • Political organisations

Furthermore, findings in Ponemon’s 2014 Security of Paper Records & Document Shredding study showed:

  • A third of people said their organisations didn’t have a process for secure paper destruction and shredding of confidential documents.

  • 77% of companies shred less than 50% of all documents containing sensitive or confidential information.

In other recent research:

  • A quarter of employees admit to not shredding confidential information.

  • Only an abysmally low 27% of companies reported policies for safe security, storage and disposal of confidential information.

There are many items that don’t need to be disposed of securely.  However, although not every piece of paper needs to be securely shredded, we know that many companies are operating outside of the law and not taking due diligence when it comes to document security.

This is why we want to encourage everyone to consider their own shredding practices and to update and enhance measures as necessary. This often requires training by an employer so that employees fully understand how to handle the information they deal with at work. If you don’t already, we’d urge you to evaluate the ways that your employees handle confidential data and how you can support them in carrying out proper paper disposal and secure shredding. 

Unfortunately, paper documents can be easily found through people searching through both normal bins and recycling bins. Even if you think that no one will go through your company’s recycling, papers can easily get lost, dropped, or fly away in the process of transferring paper from the bin and taking it to a recycling centre. However, Restore Datashred’s secure consoles stop this from happening.

secure shredding

Secure shredding of hard drives and media files

Paper shredding is obviously very important, but hard drives, media files, and other products can require destruction, too. Media files can hold sensitive information in a similar way that paper documents can, and this should not be forgotten. Thankfully, shredding equipment has evolved to not only be useful for paper shredding, but for hard drive destruction, too.

The same stringent guidelines and procedures apply to electronic data destruction as to paper shredding. Knowing this, Restore Datashred provide hard drive and media destruction, so your company has no reason to not be fully compliant with government-issued legislation. Our hard drive shredding and hard drive destruction can reassure you that no one will be able to get their hands on your digitally-stored information.

Secure shredding and recycling

We are all aware of how beneficial recycling is for the environment. Although we can’t always control how much paper needs to be used at work, we do have the power to choose to recycle it. When you use a shredding company like Restore Datashred, we make sure to recycle all of the paper waste that is produced from your shredding. Through the recycling we do, we go some way towards making a positive impact on the environment. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper each year, so the least we can do is make sure it’s recycled!

We keep the environment in mind through all of our processes, and this has led us to recycle all of the shredded paper we handle, as well as all of the electronic and hard drive material we destroy. The electronic material is separated into parts, destroyed, and then recycled and repurposed.

When should you invest in secure shredding?

There’s no time like the present! Whatever industry your business is in, secure shredding should really be one of your priorities from the start. Don’t make the easy mistake of leaving your paper documents in a position where security could be compromised. Loss and theft of paper information happens all too frequently for companies, but that doesn’t mean your company has to be one of them. No one wants to be targeted by criminals, and so there is no reason to make things easier for them by leaving paper information practically on display.

Through secure shredding, you can eliminate the risk of something happening to files that others shouldn’t have access to. It goes a long way to contributing to internal security management and maintaining business intelligence. Paper shredding keeps you protected against rivals in the industry and even employees who may not always have the company’s best interests at heart. 

Despite the aim of some companies to go paperless, the likelihood is that some form of paper information will still be used. This could be a company filling in paper forms to fulfill HR requirements, or letters received in the post about rent or company taxes. 

Want to know if we can handle your secure shredding?

Now that you know how important secure shredding is, how can you get the help you need? Well, Restore Datashred is here to offer you a helping hand. We are able to complete the shredding you need, even when it comes to the most confidential data. We operate to the highest standards in the industry and make sure that your company stays compliant. 

With our data destruction services, you can put away papers and files that you no longer need into one of our secure consoles. Once we collect these from you we can either securely shred these onsite with one of our state-of-the-art shredding vehicles (such as the Shred-Tech MDX-3), or take them to our closest secure shredding facility.

With Restore Datashred you can eliminate privacy concerns and ensure you receive the most secure shredding possible.

Contact us today and our expert team will be happy to discuss your individual secure shredding needs. You can call us on 0800 376 4422 or use our online form

We look forward to hearing from you. 

 

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