There are three options when it comes to document destruction. You can shred on-site yourself, which most office managers recognize is a poor form of privacy control, you can have an on-site shredding company visit and handle your document destruction, or you can pay someone to haul away your shreddable documents and destroy them in an off-site facility.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still opt for the latter because it is generally cheaper than on-site shredding. However, while it can save you some money, it can also cost you quite a few headaches and with chain of custody broken the moment someone picks up those documents, the headaches aren’t likely to go away any time soon.
The Dangers of Off Site Shredding
There are a number of risks associated with off-site shredding by default. To start, you don’t have chain of custody over those documents the moment they leave your office. Despite maintaining liability, you must trust the company you hire to properly handle and dispose of them in a way that ensures they are truly destroyed.
Does the offsite facility use cross-cutting to make documents unreadable? Do they control who has access to the documents? Do they maintain records of chain of custody themselves? These are all questions you will ask, but will never be 100% sure of.
An off-site document destruction company in Salt Lake City, Utah accidentally dumped a full load of financial document on the Bangerter Highway, including cancelled checks, financial records and more from Zions Bank customers. Can you imagine the customer privacy nightmare this must have been for the bank?
But situations like this are not only possible; they are reported every year when off-site shredding companies have issues. It’s not to say that these companies don’t have very strict security procedures in place. The problem is not always a lack of oversight and care, but the fact that off-site shredding introduces so many new variables and so many checkpoints where a problem could occur.
Why On-Site Shredding Makes More Sense
Now compare this to on-site shredding. Companies like Strongbox come directly to your office, handle all of your documents in plain sight and chain of custody is never broken. You can then watch on video as we destroy your documents on our truck, in your parking lot.
The process is done on-site, only the people you meet will ever handle the containers, and everything is cross cut and mixed with other destroyed documents immediately, to ensure there is no opportunity for a lapse in security.
It’s not a matter of being more responsible. It’s about eliminating the number of potential issues that could theoretically pop up. An overturned truck on the highway with previously cross-cut documents would be a mess but it wouldn’t result in a security nightmare for the companies that hired that document destruction company.
Something important to consider the next time you look for a company to handle your document destruction needs in the Milwaukee area.