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Secure Document Shredding Myths Busted! – In House Shredding Myths

Are you still operating with incorrect data on shredding?

Secure Document Shredding, like any industry, has its fair share of myths. In today’s article, we’ll separate fact from fiction and give you the data you need to have to make the right choices for your organisation.

Whether your organisation is going through a digital transformation or simply trying to free up storage space by destroying old documents and records that are no longer needed, then a secure document shredding project is going to come into play.

You may be thinking that in-house shredding is the way to go. But is it really the right option?

Here are some common assumptions people make when tasked with destroying documents and data…

Shredding In-House is a Legal Requirement

In-House shredding is not, in fact, a legal requirement. The Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act does not require proof of the destruction of documents.

However, it does require documents and records to be destroyed in a thorough manner that will prevent anyone from reconstituting such documents and records into a form where information becomes available once more.

So while you may be able to do your shredding in-house, you will still have to somehow prove that you destroyed your records in an appropriate manner. This is where it is preferable to use a third party secure document shredding service. A professional service provider will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction, which will serve as proof of correct document destruction and disposal.

Shredding In-House is Cheaper

For very small businesses, shredding in-house may be cheaper. However, in the majority of cases, third party shredding services tend to be more cost-effective. This is because specialist shredding providers have invested in large scale heavy-duty shredding machines that can handle large volumes of documents.

The costs associated with equipping your organisation with enough shredders to quickly and efficiently shred high volumes of records are higher than third-party services. Especially when you also factor in things like maintenance and shredder replacement.

It’s Easier to Handle Shredding In-House

If co-ordination yet another project and getting everyone to carry it out along with there current workload sounds easy then yes, in-house shredding will be a breeze. Unfortunately, shredding in-house is unlikely to be a simple task even if you are a small company.

For a larger organisation with many offices, in-house shredding is going to be a logistical nightmare. Here are some of the things you will need to consider when starting a secure document shredding project, over and above having to purchase multiple shredding machines.

  • How large do your shredders need to be?
  • Where would you keep them?
  • How much noise will they make?
  • What batch sizes could they handle and how quickly?
  • Can they shred anything besides paper?
  • Are they going to be high quality or cheap shredders?

Technical factors:

  • Could you enter client matter numbers?
  • How much training do your staff need to be able to safely operate a shredder?
  • Who would handle maintenance and how much will it cost?
  • How long would repairs take?

In-House Shredding is More Secure

You may feel that it is more secure to keep your shredding in-house and not expose your information to outside parties. However, in-house shredding tends to lack certain basics like a document chain of custody which tracks each record until final destruction.

Of more concern is the fact that in-house shredding projects cannot general a Certificate of Destruction to prove that correct shredding processes have been followed.

So while you and your staff may be conscientious about security and have the best of intentions, you will still be lacking a number of security measures.

Partnering with Iron Mountain South Africa

Iron Mountain South Africa offers professional and secure document shredding and data destruction services. Contact us today to find out about the right solutions for your organisation and enjoy greater peace of mind.

Image Credit: Pixabay/bluebudgie


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