Reality check: How safe are personal shredders?
All it takes is a stroll through Costco or Staples to know that we are buying millions of personal shredders in the US. These machines are at the forefront of the battle to protect our personal identities, private information, and our credit ratings. In most cases, they do a fine job for this household necessity (as long as it is a cross cut model and the shredded material is intermixes with other household refuse). BUT, a medical practice, lawyer or business of almost any size is taking risks and consuming resources it could put to much better use.
Safety RiskPersonal Shredders are designed for occasional use at our homes and should be turned off when not in use. They can overheat, spark, or worse if overused or in the case of an accident. In an office environment, they are often used under a desk (plugged into workstations mostly) alongside much more valuable equipment. A localized accident can have devastating consequences.
Privacy RiskNo matter how diligent you are, a pile of “to be shred” materials invariably forms on your desk. By definition, this pile, big or small, is valuable, confidential, and/or private (otherwise you wouldn’t be shredding it) and we all leave it a very portable, almost gift wrapped stack. For those offices that consolidate shredding with a receptionist or in a mail room, these risks are made exponentially higher by the volume and the lack of available time to perform the tasks – vacations, deadlines, and other duties often trump the dreaded shredding commitments from the crew. The worst examples are at the front desk, where visitors are within arms length of some of the most sensitive information your firm creates. What about at night or off hours, can you really be sure this stack is treated appropriately.
Wasted ResourcesPutting aside the cost of the equipment, its replacement after too big a piece of metal is inserted, the replacement after that for burn out, etc…the time that self performance of shredding can consume versus the minimal expense to outsource this need is wasteful for any level of employee (other than free interns and “kids of the boss”). Time is money but it is tough to measure in this case, but just 30 minutes a month has a cost, not to mention the complaining to others distractions, the noise disruption and dust and damage to their clothes.
The AlternativeOutsourcing your shredding to a trusted, reputable organization like Corodata enables you to realize a few key benefits:
- Inexpensive Rates – $1 a day per piece of equipment is a good estimate for this type of service.
- Immediate Security – The whole office will be able to slip their material in the bins or consoles on the way to a meeting or to grad a refill of coffee. No need to stack or pile for long periods.
- Locked and Secure – The equipment is locked and tamper resistant. Once inside the paper can not be touched by personnel and all the material is mixed to together providing even more anonymity.
- Green – All the shredded material is recycled after destruction to make napkins, towels, and other necessities.