Whether you own a large- or small-scale business, you will periodically need to dispose of documentation. How you destroy this information will depend on both the type and scale of documents in your possession. Eliminating files can be done for both physical and digital documents. It can also be performed individually or in bulk. Take a look below.
Options for Shredding Physical Documentation
Shredding physical documentation is fairly straightforward and thorough. However, there are different types of shredders available to take into consideration. How frequently does your company utilize a shredder? How much information is being destroyed at a time? Do you want to spend the time to destroy files yourself? Ask each of these questions as you consider your paper shredding options:
- Office Shredder: Office paper shredders are relatively inexpensive. They are designed for frequent use, but only shred 4-5 pages at a time without getting jammed. You have to manually remove staples and paper clips before shredding anything, as well. However, they are compact and fit easily in close quarters.
- Bulk Shredder: Bulk shredders are a pricey option, but they have the capacity to clear out vast amounts of paperwork at once. They also destroy paperclips and staples with ease, so you don't have to spend time separating the metal out from each file. Bulk shredders can be rented or purchased, depending on how regularly you need access to one.
- Mobile Shredder: A mobile paper shredder saves your company time and is completely secure. A mobile shredding company will bring a truck to your location, transfer all files to the truck's bulk shredder, and destroy all documents before leaving the work site. All you have to do is arrange for the truck, and have your paperwork ready. The rest is left to the mobile shredding service.
Options for Shredding Digital Documents
In today's technologically advanced world, physical documents are taking a back seat to digitized ones. If your company has gone digital, destroying confidential information is more difficult. Simply deleting files isn't enough – they can be recovered, and information can be shared in a matter of minutes. To combat this, digital shredding eliminates all traces of the document. There are various levels of shredding, and each wipes your computer to a different degree. These methods include:
- Erase Individual Files: Erasing individual files is the most basic form of digital shredding. Several different programs can be downloaded or purchased which dispose of sensitive documents. A file erasing program goes through the free space on your drive where traces of deleted files remain. It then overwrites the files so they can't be accessed again.
- Wipe Free Space: As discussed above, the free space on your computer contains remnants of deleted files. Some digital shredding programs are designed to completely wipe your free space. This option should be used throughout the year to detect and destroy files that weren't entirely erased with a basic shredder.
- Erase Hard Drive: If you are upgrading your company's computers, you should run a digital shredding program to erase the hard drive. Doing this will destroy any lasting information on your computer. Without doing this, someone could access any personal information you entered on the computer, as well as company documentation.
The only way to know that your company's documentation is truly gone is by shredding it. Otherwise, you risk remnants of information being found and exploited. Secure document deletion is accomplished in 2 main ways – through a physical paper shredder or a digital document shredder. With each method, you have the option of selecting and deleting one file at a time, or wiping out information in bulk. For more information, check it out by continuing research o different paper shredding companies and products.