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Why Businesses Should Shred Unwanted Documents

Why Businesses Should Shred Unwanted Documents

With a high turnover of paperwork and unwanted documents generated by businesses, it is important to know the best practice when it comes to effectively and correctly disposing of them. Here, we explain why it is so important that businesses shred their unwanted documents, both to themselves, the wider economy and the environment.

Legal considerations

One central reason that makes shredding old documents so important is the legal implications that failing to do so may have. By choosing not to shred your business’ documents, as a company you run the risk of breaching privacy laws; laws which apply to all businesses and individuals, stating that you are responsible for protecting all documents and information acquired from customers and clients. Failure to secure said information can result in serious penalties which tarnish the reputation – and possibly the finances – of your business, with fines of up to £500,000 in place for the loss of an employee’s confidential information.

Identity theft

The fastest growing crime our nation is experiencing today, identity theft is an epidemic that will only continue to proliferate should businesses fail to be rigorous with their disposal of confidential paperwork. Since there is no law in place to prevent the general public from going through your bins, once your documents reach the bin it is out of your hands who may find them, from which point all manner of difficulties can occur. From identity theft to credit card fraud, your documents could prove invaluable to criminals, something which can easily be prevented by simply shredding your paperwork once you no longer have use for it.

Safe recycling

Rather than placing documentation into a bin where it can easily be stolen, it is much better practice to shred and recycle unwanted paperwork. Increasing recycling rates in the UK is good practice alone, aiding the continual production of new paper, without the added benefit of avoiding problems of identity theft as discussed above.

What to shred

Being aware of what to shred is half the battle when it comes to protecting your company from the dangers of identity theft and other fraudulent behaviours. You should shred anything with:

  • a signature
  • an account number
  • identifying personal details
  • medical information
  • legal information

This can include any of the following, as well as a number of other types of document:

  • Address labels
  • ATM receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Birth certificate copies
  • Cancelled cheques
  • Credit card bills
  • Credit reports
  • CVs
  • Documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers or email addresses
  • Documents containing passwords or PIN numbers
  • Driver’s licences
  • Employment information
  • ID cards
  • Legal documents
  • Medical records
  • Receipts with credit/debit information
  • Tax forms
  • Travel tickets
  • Utility bills

Whatever you do, remember to shred your unwanted documents as soon as you can to avoid any of the potential issues that can arise should you not. Shredding a document takes no time at all, whereas dealing with the aftermath of identity theft could take an exceedingly long time.

Here at Brown Recycling, we can arrange to securely destroy your confidential papers with our state-of-the-art shredder. As we are passionate about our zero-to-landfill goal, we recycle 100% of the paper we shred, so you know that not only are your confidential documents being safely destroyed but also treated responsibly. With around 95% of our total collected waste being successfully recycled, we use landfill as a last resort.

To find out more about what we do, or find out more about our confidential shredding services, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be happy to help, whatever the enquiry.

Posted in: Commercial Posted on: July 20th 2015