All Your Questions about Document Destruction Answered

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Pile of paper next to shredded paper

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to privacy protection. With information security being a broadly interpreted term, we want to help eliminate any confusion about how information disposal should be handled within your organization. As a result, we’ve outlined several frequently-asked questions and concerning document destruction and provided our answers.

Which documents should I destroy?

It is recommended that you destroy any documents containing confidential business information or personally identifiable information (PII). The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has implemented the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) to protect the personal privacy rights of individuals, and in doing so, has created ground rules for how private-sector organizations collect, use, disclose and destroy personal information.

Each business has unique document destruction requirements. Paper records containing confidential information may include, but are not limited to:

  • tax and financial documents
  • employee and client files
  • contracts and proposals
  • documents containing proprietary data

It is recommended that you consult with your legal counsel to determine how long to retain documents and when to destroy them.

On-site or off-site?

How you have your paper documents shredded is based mostly on personal preference. Both on-site and off-site shredding methods offer a secure solution for destroying confidential paperwork. As part of both services, screened professionals use industrial-grade shredding equipment that renders any sensitive data completely unrecognizable. At the completion of either method, a Certificate of Destruction is issued enabling you to meet legal, regulatory and internal audit requirements.

For on-site shredding, a mobile shredding vehicle arrives at your business at an appointed time. All documents slated for destruction are collected and shredded on-premises. The entire destruction process can be witnessed.

Off-site shredding is just as secure as a mobile, on-site method. On a scheduled basis, confidential documents are collected from your facility and then securely transported off-site to a shredding plant facility. Strict chains of custody and privacy protection procedures are followed at during the entire process. Off-site shredding avoids the noise associated with on-site shredding.

Why not just use my office shredding machine?

There are several issues associated with reliance on an office shredding machine. Many office shredders shred confidential documents into fairly large strips which may not provide adequate privacy protection. These machines are also prone to malfunction. Improper use and overuse, seen often in a busy office, can render an office shredder inoperable. Paper jams are frequent and shredding blades are easily dulled.

In-house shredding is also inefficient. Binders, paper clips and staples have to be removed prior to shredding. Most office shredding machines can only accommodate a few sheets of paper at a time, and the shredding receptacle has to be emptied frequently. The time investment associated with shredding machine use has a negative impact on overall business productivity. As a result, sensitive documents can easily end up in a waste bin instead of being properly destroyed.

A professional shredding service enables confidential documents to be disposed of in significantly less time. Whole files, including binders and paper clips can be dropped within a locked collection container in a matter of seconds. Because multiple shred collection containers can be strategically placed at various points within an office, sensitive files are more likely to securely be disposed of in a timely manner.

Docu-Dépôt provides professional paper shredding solutions to businesses throughout Montréal and Québec. To find out more, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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