Best Document Shredding Services
We all handle printed confidential documents. Think about it. Whether it’s financial documents in the workplace, or bank statements and receipts at home, we’re privy to and handle printed data that’s sensitive and that should be protected. But, as they say, all good (and confidential) things must come to an end, which begs the question: What should we do with confidential documents when they’re no longer needed or when we run out of room to store them?
That’s a good question, actually. Even if you decide to scan the printed documents in order to store them digitally, once they’re scanned, you’re going to need to destroy them in order to free up storage space, right?
So, what’s the best way to destroy documents that contain confidential and sensitive information? There are three common ways in which this task is approached, each of which have their benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a look, shall we?
On-site Shredding Services
On-site document destruction—a.k.a. on-site shredding—involves hiring a provider that comes to your site and, with the use of a specially outfitted truck, shreds the documents before leaving.
The benefits of this type of document destruction include you being able to watch the entire document destruction process and know precisely who handled your documents before they were destroyed. You also get a nifty certificate of destruction—but no gold star. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that all shredded paper is mixed in the truck with all of the provider’s other clients’ shredded documents, making it virtually impossible for anyone to piece the shredded paper together for disreputable purposes.
The biggest, and perhaps only, drawback to on-site document destruction is cost. This type of document destruction service is typically the most expensive of the three discussed in this article, as the inconvenience of coming to your site to destroy the documents is born by the provider.
Off-site Shredding Services
Other document destruction providers offer a service that involves collecting the documents you want destroyed and then shredding them later at a facility other than yours.
Off-site document destruction is beneficial in that providers who offer this service usually mix and compact the shredded papers and then recycle the material. Some clients feel that this process is more secure against anyone being able to reassemble the shredded material.
The drawbacks for off-site shredding include:
1) an increased number of personnel that handle your sensitive documents
2) a longer period of time between when your documents are collected and actually destroyed
3) unnecessary document exposure while off-site personnel sort documents for recyclability
4) uncertainty as to whether the documents make it to the off-site facility without being compromised.
In-office Shredding Services
There’s a saying that claims that if you want something done right, you should do it yourself. This is the mindset behind the in-office method of destroying documents and involves the use of a paper shredder and your own—or hired help’s—manpower.
The most obvious benefits for this type of document destruction are that it’ll cost you less in the long run and that you’ll also know precisely who handled your documents before they met their demise. You can also take pride in knowing that, by recycling the shredded paper yourself, you’re personally doing your part to take care of the environment—and not paying someone else to do it. No certificate for having done so, though.
Writing the check—or running the credit/debit card—to pay for a paper shredder is a drawback worth considering for this do-it-yourself document destroying method, as paper shredders can run close to $1,000.
On-Site vs Off-Site Document Destruction
Whether you choose in-office, off-site, or on-site document destruction, there are benefits and drawbacks involved with each that you should take into consideration. Which option best suits your needs depends on your budget and how important it is for your peace of mind that as few people handle the documents as possible. The level of the documents’ sensitivity could also be a contributing factor to your final decision, as could the number of documents and frequency you need to destroy them.