“Why should we pay to shred paper?” We get asked that question often, and honestly, it’s a good one!
Simply throwing away your office’s old documents, financial records, and other paper seems like enough. Or, if you’re a bit concerned, buying a desktop shredder and having someone shred the important stuff ought to do it…
Here’s the short answer: ID theft, tax fraud, the law, and regulatory requirements.
Trashing your documents is the perfect way to have small-time criminals grab you or your customers’ information to file fraudulent tax returns or open credit cards. By the time you find out, you could be on the hook for the thousands of dollars.
What about tasking an employee to shred “the important stuff” once a week or so? Three things pop into mind:
- Do you trust them to know what’s important?
- Where are you going to keep these documents before shredding?
- Do you want to pay them to stand at a shredder for hours?
Various laws and regulations require businesses to destroy documents (and hard drives) that have personally identifiable information (PII) such as Social Security numbers, date of birth, and home addresses.
Think your business is covered by any of those? Well, you are if:
- you’re in healthcare or are a “business associate” of one (HIPAA, HITECH)
- you pull credit reports for job candidates (FTC Disposal Rule)
- you have consumer’s personal financial records (FACTA)
- you’re a financial institution (Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and more)
- you’re an educational institution (FERPA)
I.D. theft and tax fraud are increasingly a threat to businesses of all sizes. And one of the safest, easiest, and most cost-effective ways to avoid those threats is to hire certified professionals to shred everything.
This sounds self-serving of us to say so, but it’s also true!