While most businesses rely on computer systems for day-to-day business operations, they continue to utilize paper documents to store information. It is estimated that this is the case for 95% of United States’ businesses. It’s also interesting to note that over 80 million tons of paper is consumed in this country every year.
In addition to businesses maintaining sensitive information in their paper files, they also do so on their hard drives and other document storage devices. Even though many companies may have begun using the cloud to back up their files and infrastructure, they continue to utilize other means to protect their data.
Given the importance of confidentiality, the prevalence of identity theft, and other issues related to sensitive data, it’s important to shred paper files that contain personal information. This applies to individuals, businesses, service organizations, and other entities in both the public and private sectors. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), information theft costs businesses in the United States an estimated $24 billion every year.
Even though identity theft does occur through online exchanges, it is believed that this represents less than 10% of these cases. This underlines the importance of shredding documents. Furthermore, it is also important to determine which documents need to be kept and for how long, as well as what documents can be destroyed. a document scanning solution may also be needed to upload paper files to an online storage system.
When businesses need to create, maintain, and store files, document scanning solutions may be required. A document scanning service can provide a time-saving option when files, charts, and other materials need to be duplicated. A document scanning solution is also convenient when needing to upload materials to a hard drive, back-up drive, or other computer storage system.
While it’s a good practice to shred old documents when applicable, many industries are required to do so by law. Doctors and health insurance providers, for example, are legally required to shred their documents. Furthermore, due to the sensitive nature of patient and client information, state and federal laws require all medical organizations to have a comprehensive data-destruction plan in place.
In addition to protecting vital information, paper shredding services also contribute to fire prevention. When files are shredded, the amount of flammable materials in an office space can be considerably reduced.
Since some offices may have closets, shelving, and other areas full of boxes containing old documents, shredding these can open up these spaces for other storage purposes. Furthermore, depending on the amount and configuration of these materials, shredding can also increase maneuverability within an office space.
Most paper mills in the United States are now designed to use shredded and recycled paper, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). This is the case with approximately 80% of these mills. As a result, when individuals, businesses, and other organizations recycle their paper, it makes an environmental impact and increases sustainability within this industry. Furthermore, the U.S. EPA has discovered that recycling efforts cause 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution.