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January 28, 2019

Dangers of Not Shredding Confidential Papers and Materials

Thinking about not shredding your documents? Think again.

You may think you’re saving time or money by simply throwing important papers in the trash, but the data breech costs you could incur in doing so could be significant.  Even if your industry isn’t one of many that has requirements to shred confidential documents, you still need to follow suit.  There are several Dangers of Not Shredding confidential papers and materials that can damage or close your business for good.

Not Shredding Documents Leaves You Vulnerable to Data BreechesShred Confidential Papers

Data theft is less about happening by chance and mostly about companies exposing their information.

Leaving around old hard drives, files, customer profiles, and employee information is a recipe for security disaster.

Criminals are professional data thieves who spend countless hours searching for their big break.

Don’t make a breech easy by not having a data destruction plan in place.

Important Materials Not Destroyed Can Be Leaked

Data breeches can happen right outside your front door or even within your organization.  It’s called leaking confidential information, and it happens more often than you can imagine.  Bad habits of not shredding documents make it easier for employees to leak private information and trade secrets.

This can happen in four common ways:

• Purposely – When an employee or former employee acts out of negative emotions or intentions to retaliate.
• Reluctantly – When a competitor takes advantage of information innocently shared.
• Accidentally – Information delivered to the wrong person.
• Carelessly – Documents not kept secure or old documents that weren’t shredded.

When you fail to properly dispose of your documents, it exposes privileged documents to unprivileged people.  Privileged Information Leaks can lead to identity theft, which can ruin your brand image and undermine consumer trust.

Not Shredding Confidential Documents Makes Identity Theft Easy

Identity theft stats rise higher with each passing year and with each technological advance.

As many systems become digital and paperless, most organizations put their focus on virus and malware protection to fight identity thieves.

Digital protection is only half the battle, as many identity thieves get their information the old-fashioned way.

Throwing away or storing away materials makes them an easy target for identity theft.

Damage to Brand Image

According to Inc., purposeful leaks can tarnish your brand reputation for a long time.  Your brand is what sets you apart from other businesses of the same kind.  Customers associate your products and services with the brand you’ve built over time.

When something negative happens within your organization, consumers will link that event with your brand.  If a data breach or identity theft incident happens at your business because of not shredding, your clients will view you as careless and incapable of protecting information.  Even if you compensate for the damages, consumers will view your brand negatively for a while.

Lose Consumer Trust

With brand damage also comes lack of trust. This happens more often with customers who were directly affected from data exposure.  Recovering from identity theft is stressful, and those emotions will be shifted toward the company who caused it.  When they chose to place their business with you and give you personal information, they made a decision to trust you.  Once you lose customer trust, you will likely lose their business.

Take Action to Prevent Dangers of Not Shredding

Use this information to make critical changes in your security and risk management strategies.  Shred all documents or at least the ones with confidential company, employee, and client information.  Don’t just throw away old hard drives or try to destroy them on your own.

Get a professional data destruction company to help you!

PROSHRED® Seattle is an industry leader in secure document and hard drive destruction. We help businesses of all types and sizes avoid the dangers of not shredding confidential papers and materials.

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