Data breaches and the leak of private information are not just limited to the cyber world.
Stolen laptops containing customer information, work reports dumped in the trash and a general confusion over what should be shredded and what should be recycled are some examples of how data can be stolen in the offline world.
This is the reason why you should hire a certified shredding company to assist you with the destruction of important information.
However, before hiring a company to assist you with this, there are a few items to consider. Below I list them one by one.
Are they certified by a recognized trade association or a similar institution?
As part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) FACT Act which went into effect in 2005, the FTC recommends small businesses work with certified information disposal companies to properly destroy consumer information.
This kind of certification means companies will undergo randomly scheduled, required onsite inspections by trained, accredited security professionals, among other requirements.
Companies that pass those inspections are allowed to use a certification logo on their website.
Do they offer both residential shredding and plant-based shredding?
Residential shredding, also known as on-site shredding, means that the company will send a truck to your office where the documents to be shredded are stored and will shred them on the spot. Ideally, the truck should be properly maintained, safe, and equipped with the technology to handle the shredding process.
Plant-based shredding means, as the name suggests, that the documents are shredded at the information destruction vendor’s secure facility.
The important detail is that you should be given an option whether you want to go with residential shredding or plant-based shredding.
How secure is the shredding process?
Well of course if the process is not secure, why would you want to hire them?
Some of the items to consider here are as follows:
The shredding company must have written policies and procedures in place and should follow them.
The shredding company employees handling the secure containers must have undergone background checks.
The trucks and all other equipment involved in the process must be in proper working condition.
There should be video cameras at both the on-site and on-plant facilities recording the complete shredding process, and the recordings should be kept for at least a few months.
The points listed above don’t form an exhaustive list because there is no guarantee that even if a company does meet each of these requirements it will necessarily be 100% reliable. But these points will surely increase your chances of hiring a trustworthy shredding company.