Spring is the perfect time to tackle that cleaning to-do list and refresh your space. As you go through old files, outdated documents, and even personal papers, you may be tempted to toss them in the trash. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the potential risks involved regarding sensitive or confidential information.
Identity theft, fraud, and data breaches are all too common these days, and they can happen to anyone – even if you’re just throwing away an old credit card statement or medical record. That’s why protecting your personal and professional information is crucial, especially during a spring cleanout. A secure shredding service is one of the best ways to do this. This blog post will explore why you need a shredding service during your spring cleanout and how it can help keep your information safe and secure.
Why Tossing Documents Isn’t Enough
When you’re going through old files and documents, tossing them in the trash may be tempting. After all, who would want to sift through your old tax returns or bank statements, right? Unfortunately, identity thieves and fraudsters are always looking for personal and financial information to use to their advantage.
Even if a document seems insignificant or outdated, it may contain sensitive information that could put you at risk if it falls into the wrong hands. For example, an old bank statement could reveal your account number, while a medical record could contain personal health information that could be used for fraud.
Simply throwing away these documents – even if you tear them up or cross out personal information – is not enough to guarantee their security. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, dumpster diving is a standard method identity thieves use to obtain personal information. That’s where a secure shredding service comes in.
What Is Secured Shredding?
Secure shredding is a process that involves the destruction of documents and other materials that contain sensitive or confidential information. Rather than just tearing up or cutting papers by hand, secure shredding services use specialized equipment to shred documents into small pieces.
Some secure shredding services also offer additional features, such as on-site shredding, which allows you to witness the process firsthand, or a certificate of destruction, which proves that your documents were securely destroyed.
Benefits Of Utilizing A Secure Shredding Service
Now that we’ve covered secure shredding let’s take a closer look at why you need it during your spring cleanout.
Protects Your Confidential Information
The most obvious benefit of using a secure shredding service is that it helps protect your confidential information from falling into the wrong hands. By shredding documents into tiny, unrecognizable pieces, you can rest assured that your personal and professional information is no longer accessible.
This is particularly important if you’re getting rid of sensitive documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, medical records, or legal documents. Using a secure shredding service, you can be confident that this information is securely destroyed rather than thrown away in the trash.
It Helps Prevent Identity Theft And Fraud
Identity theft and fraud are significant concerns for individuals and businesses alike. By securely and responsibly disposing of sensitive information, you can help prevent these types of crimes. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, over 1,000 data breaches occurred in the United States in 2020 alone, exposing over 155 million records. Using a secure shredding service can help minimize the risk of your personal or professional information becoming part of these statistics.
It Helps Keep You Compliant With Regulations
Depending on your industry, you may be required by law to dispose of certain documents in a specific manner. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires healthcare providers to dispose of patient records to protect patient privacy securely.
Similarly, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions to implement safeguards to protect customer information, including proper disposal methods for sensitive documents. Using a secure shredding service, you can ensure that you comply with these regulations and avoid potential legal consequences or fines for improperly disposing of sensitive information.
It Helps You Declutter And Organizes Your Space
Spring cleaning is all about decluttering and organizing your space, and using a secure shredding service can help you do just that. By getting rid of old documents and files you no longer need, you can free up space in your home or office and make it easier to find the information you need. In addition, shredding documents can give you peace of mind and help you feel more organized and in control of your personal and professional information.
How To Choose A Secure Shredding Service
Choosing a service that meets your needs and budget is essential. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a fast shredding service:
- Experience and reputation: Look for a service with a proven track record of securely shredding documents and protecting customer privacy.
- Certifications and compliance: Ensure that the service is certified by a reputable organization, such as the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), and complies with relevant regulations or laws.
- On-site vs. off-site shredding: Decide whether you want it done on-site, where you can witness the process, or off-site, where the service picks up your documents and shreds them at a secure facility.
- Additional features: Consider whether you need other features, such as a certificate of destruction or recurring shredding services.
Spring cleaning is an excellent opportunity to refresh your space and get organized. Still, being mindful of the sensitive information lurking in your old files and documents is essential. Using a secure shredding service, you can protect your personal and professional input from falling into the wrong hands and help prevent identity theft and fraud.
With PROSHRED® Minnesota, you can ensure your documents are securely shredded in compliance with local and federal regulations. Contact us today for more information!