Are the documents that you need to destroy piling up faster than you can handle? You could get out the office scissors or personal paper shredder and block off your schedule for the rest of your life, or you could find a professional document destruction specialist that works for your business needs. Any one of them will do because they’re all the same, right? Big mistake! Not all shredding companies are the same and you need to take the time to pick the right one for you. Much as you might like to joke about paper shredding – and who doesn’t? – it’s a serious business that gets into areas of security, personal privacy, and even legal compliance. So take the time to get it right now, so you don’t need to think about it in the future, unless you enjoy thinking about it, in which case, go crazy! Here are four things to consider when hiring a shredding service.
Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by Quinn Dombrowski via flickr
Are they certified? What you’re looking for is AAA certification by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), which ensures professional standards for document destruction. With NAID AAA certification you can be confident that a shredding company:
- Has passed a comprehensive initial audit conducted by a third party with Certified Protection Professional (CPP) accreditation.
- Performs three-level background screenings of all employees who will handle documents.
- Undergoes periodic unannounced audits to ensure ongoing compliance.
- Maintains NAID-mandated levels of insurance protection.
Some companies offer remote video feeds of shredding, but nothing beats seeing it happen right in front of you. If absolute security is a priority, you might want a service that provides on-site fine shredding where the documents never leave your sight. You might also want, or even be required to obtain depending on your industry, documentation stipulating the specific time and place of the destruction of your records.
Even if this is not your highest priority, some prospective clients may think less of your company if you don’t have an environmentally-sensitive policy for document destruction in place. Look for a shredding company that has “green” policies to ensure that your documents are taken care of in an environmentally sound manner.
In any modern setting you will have a mix of physical and electronic records. If electronic document destruction is also important to you, look for a document destruction provider that is equally proficient with paper shredding and as it is with hard drive destruction and degaussing.