Thursday, 28 June 2012

How Paper Shredding Prevents Identity Theft

The implications of identity theft aren’t lost on too many people in modern society.  When you consider the multitude of personal information that is floating around both electronically and in paper files, the potential for criminal activity is staggering.

What Is Identity Theft?

When people hear the term ‘identity theft’, many envision someone assuming your identity and living their life as you.  In reality, identity theft may consist of someone stealing your financial information and taking out credit in your name, cleaning out your bank accounts or having a false driver’s license or other documents made using your information. 

Regardless of the details, if your information is compromised and used by an ‘identity thief’ in any way, you may be feeling the effects for some time to come.  Naturally, it is in the best interest of businesses, banks, schools and government offices to protect your sensitive data.  They usually have several different measures in place to keep your confidential information confidential, and paper shredding is one of the most significant.

Importance of Paper Shredding

Basically, paper shredding is precisely what the name implies.  It is the shredding of sensitive paper documents that might cause customers or clients to fall victim to identity theft.  Paper shredding is important because the longer that sensitive information lies around intact, the greater the likelihood of it being compromised. 

The implications to individuals who have fallen victim to identity theft are pretty obvious, but the organization that allowed it to happen will also suffer.  The sheer volume of customers that would leave and never return would be staggering.  And in a world of social media, the news that a business couldn’t protect a customer’s information would travel fast.

In most places, document destruction is also a legal matter, which makes getting it done in a timely and efficient manner even more important. 

Common Mistake

What many businesses and organizations don’t know is that purchasing a paper shredder and taking care of it yourself is generally ineffective at deterring real identity thieves.  Just like you are an expert at your business, an identity thief is an expert at stealing sensitive information, and while a pile of shredded paper may look secure to you, someone who knows what he is doing can still piece it back together. 

Shredding your own documents is definitely more effective than doing nothing at all, but it will lead to a false sense of security.  The only real way to prevent identity theft with paper shredding is to outsource it to a company that is an expert in document destruction.  

Expert Paper Shredding

Professional paper shredding companies will actually come to your business and shred your documents on-site, in such a way that they can never be put back together.  You’ll also receive documentation from the company detailing what has been shredded, so you can rest easy and worry about other parts of the business. 

Identity theft certainly isn’t a pleasant part of the modern business world, but it is a realistic part.  That’s why it makes sense to take it seriously and sign up for a professional paper shredding program that will keep your business safe and the identity thieves on the outside looking in.