What & Why Should You Shred?

What should you shred?

You should not be throwing away everything into the rubbish bin. The risks are too high and it is now too easy to protect yourself properly. Staying Privacy Act compliant is critically important.

You should also keep in mind that certain types of documents need to be kept for between 5-7 years, and should be properly disposed after that. Check with the ATO or other government or regulatory bodies for the relevant time periods for document storage.

When it comes time to dispose of these documents, it needs to be securely. Remember that sometimes you are relying on your employees to make a decision on what to dispose and when. That can  be dangerous, and ultimately it’s not your employees that will need to pay fines or court damages when something gets into the wrong hands. Ideally you should have a strict policy in place so there is no human error factor involved in decided what to do with your documents.

What goes in the rubbish, what goes into the shredding bin? The best idea is for all paper documents to be placed in a shredding bin. That way, you can rest assured that you’re keeping yourself and your customers secure, whilst also knowing that the paper will be recycled and not dumped in landfill.

A “Shred-All Policy” is the best way to ensure your personal or business records don’t ever have the chance to get into the wrong hands. That doesn’t even need to be a criminal. Your documents being found on the street or at a landfill can cause large fines and civil court action.

Here are some ideas of things you should be shredding:

  • Signatures
  • Photographs
  • Resumes
  • System Design Information
  • Proposals
  • Marketing Plans
  • Quotes
  • Salary, wage, bonus schedules
  • Invoices/Receipts
  • Used cheque or deposit books
  • Reviews
  • Policies and procedures
  • Medical and dental records
  • Job descriptions
  • Market research
  • Passwords
  • Leasing/Rental Agreements
  • Price Lists
  • Student Information
  • Sales Information
  • Job Applications
  • R&D Reports
  • Employee Disciplinary Reports
  • Credit Reports & History
  • Client Contracts
  • OH&S Reports
  • Tender Documents
  • Bank Statements
  • Client or prospect data
  • Used diaries
  • Usernames
  • Other confidential information/notes
  • Obsolete collateral
  • Budgets
  • ID cards
  • School reports or exam results
  • Any medical records
  • Employment Contracts
  • Obsolete promotional items
  • Letters of complaint
  • Credit Card Statements
  • Business Plans
  • Tax returns (Check with ATO)
  • Blueprints
  • Board Papers
  • Meeting Agendas/Minutes
  • Training Manuals
  • Research Reports
  • New product designs
  • Printed Email Correspondence
  • Contracts
  • Tax Forms
  • Supplier Contracts
  • Finance Applications
  • Employee Appraisals
  • Legal Case Records

Why should you shred?

Document shredding is critical in protecting your business. Confidential information is everywhere and the need to protect it has never been greater. The risks are too high to not have a proper document security policy in place.

Privacy Act Compliance

Businesses need to be taking “reasonable steps” to destroy confidential information. Detailed information can be found by reading the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 and/or seeking independent legal advice. Stay safe from Privacy Act breaches by shredding all business records.

Identity Theft/Fraud is Booming

Identity theft is the fastest growing form of crime around the world. The damage created by identity theft and fraud is huge. In the United States alone, losses are estimated to reach $8 billion USD per year. For criminals, it’s an attractive way and easy way to profit. Make sure you are protecting your business.

Corporate Espionage

For businesses that are not using a document shredding service provider, espionage is simply too easy. Sensitive information can easily fall into the wrong hands and wreak havoc on your business, customers and reputation. What could you do with your competitors customer lists, bank details, tax returns or even employee names/records? A lot.

Secure destruction of your documents and records also builds trust amongst your employees who can see that you’re serious about protecting them from harm.

Customer Expectations

Customers expect their private information to be kept confidential. Not doing so jeopardises your business and your customers. Respect everyone’s privacy by dealing with their sensitive information correctly. Not doing so can net you up to $1.7m in penalties per breach.

Save time and money.

By outsourcing your document shredding, your overall costs will be reduced. You are not a document shredding business, so don’t waste your time shredding. A small office shredder might seem like a smart idea on the surface but count in the cost of the machine, the electricity, staff time, maintenance, repairs and you’re at a loss. Their slow, overheat and downright waste your time. Outsourcing is the smart thing to do. Focus your effort and time on growing your business instead.

Employee Risks

Like it or not, statistically employees are the most likely individuals to steal and use confidential business information. Often employees within your company are a serious risk to your business. Don’t give them access to everything, outsource your shredding to a security licensed company and have that peace of mind.

It’s eco-friendly

100% of the shredded paper is recycled. Each tonne of paper can save 13 trees, 31,000 litres of water and 4000 kW/h of electricity.


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