Welcome to our 8-step checklist for preparing for professional document shredding. By now, you should have gathered a bit of information about the value of records and how important it is that they be destroyed securely. You know that you need to get rid of all documents, correspondence, and other information that may be harmful to your business or personal life to comply with your state’s laws.
Shredding is the way to go for document destruction.
8-Step Checklist – Professional Document Shredding
1. Determine what will be shredded
Not all of your documents are created equal. The different types and how much value they may have are as follows:
Documents that are permanent to your business – these can include marketing paper, contracts, sales receipts, order reports, and other types of paperwork that you keep for reference or record-keeping purposes. These can be useful because they provide a paper trail for when you do not access the actual data used in making business decisions.
Typical examples are marketing proposals, sales contracts, pre-approval letters, and other paperwork.
Documents that are confidential but not permanent to your business – include any documents you would only need for a short period. For example, this could be a report completed by a consultant who will no longer be working with your company once the project has been wrapped up.
2. Assess How Much You Have
An excellent way to identify the documents you will be shredding is to go through all of your files, directories, and hard drives, but this can be tedious if the number of items is high. One way around this is to take a snapshot of your files, including the folders and sub-folders. A cloud-based storage service, such as Box.com, can give you a bird’s eye view of all the content that your business has.
Bulk documents will leave so much waste with on-site shredding. It’s better to get services from paper shredding companies.
3. Have You Done Your Inventory on the Data?
It might be a good idea to inventory what you have before inviting a service provider to look through your stuff. This way, you can identify what you want to be destroyed and then make sure to inquire about the certificate of destruction for these items. Ensure that these items are not sensitive information or any data that could be used against you in a legal case.
4. Prepare Your Documents
Before you invite a professional for document destruction services, take the time to put this information into folders and secure it in any secure storage container; this will ensure that you can go through all of your documents without having to shuffle through a disorganized mess. The last thing you want is for confidential information to be left out in the open while you are waiting on the service provider to come.
The preparation involves removing the documents from binders or their files. Staples, rubber bands, or paperclips – unlike in common office shredders – can go through the shredder and be sorted out later from the pile.
5. Make the Appointment
Once you have all of your data together, ensure that you have someone scheduled for shredding at least one week before the appointment. This will give you time to sort out issues such as a wrong location or the inability to secure your documents. Consider doing it on a weekday when you are not busy and when you can lock down the area.
Most shredding companies can offer you their services at any time so book your appointment with a reputable company.
Request a day and time that work well for you.
6. Show the Technician Where the Papers Are
When your technician arrives, they may need to see where all of your records are being held. Let them know where all of your boxes, shelves, and other storage areas contain documents that need to be destroyed. This way, they will not spend time and resources looking through materials that are not shredded.
7. Retrieve Any Bins/Storage Containers
At this point, it is time for your technician to look through your files. This cannot be very comforting because you are in the presence of someone who may have a completely different thought process than you when dealing with the sensitive nature of these documents. However, a professional shredder should have the necessary training and experience to destroy records without any issues safely.
If you have a storage container or bin that will hold your documents, make sure to check the condition of the equipment before allowing your technician to touch it.
8. Receive Your Certificate of Destruction
After this, it is time to get your certificate of destruction. It should be posted on your door or secured in a place available for viewing within 48 hours of receiving your shredded materials. You may have to pay a certain fee upfront, but the company will return this to you if you do not receive your certificate within a reasonable time frame. By paying the advance fee, you will be showing that you are serious about complying with your state’s laws.
You should also request a copy of the certificate destroyed to ensure that you shredded all of your sensitive materials as per the law.
Any organization or individual using sensitive information needs to be security conscious. A shredding company is your best option rather than on-site shredding. A professional shredding company can help you comply with today’s security standards. At Shred Confidential, we offer the best protection on materials and offer the lowest pricing in the industry. Our specialty is customer satisfaction.
We hope that our ten tips can help you get started with making sure that your sensitive information is disposed of correctly. We will also expand this guide in the future, so stay tuned!
If you’d like more information about our off-site shredding services, give us a call at (866) 817-4733. You can also send us a message online or request a free quote.
Q: How can you protect your documents from identity thieves?
A: There are several ways to protect your documents from identity thieves. These thieves are always looking for new targets, so it is vital to take precautions to protect yourself and your clients’ information. For example, you can sort paper shredding services to destroy sensitive documents before tossing them into the garbage. The information will be destroyed and cannot be easily retrieved.
Q: How do you choose between tearing vs. shredding?
A: Throwing information into the garbage does not guarantee that all of it will be destroyed. The thieves associated with identity theft often steal torn documents, making recovering them difficult. So, by shredding or tearing up sensitive documents, you are making it much harder for thieves to get their hands on your information.