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The Importance of Document Shredders

Identity Theft

Document shredders can be used to limit one of the most popular ways that identity thieves steal personal information. Great for both personal and business use, document shredders ensure that no valuable personal information ends up in the trash. That's important because dumpster diving is a common way for thieves get discarded mail that could contain valuable personal information.

Are Document Shredders Too Expensive for Personal Use?

Document shredders come in many different sizes, with many design for home use by individuals seeking to protect themselves from possible identity theft. While shredders were more costly early in the decade, the cost for home shredders ranged from about $125 to $225 with larger shredders for business use more expensive. One way to judge if document shredders are practical for home use is to compare the cost of the shredder with the cost of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission has estimated that the average person who has their identity stolen spends about $400 out of pocket as part of a time-consuming process to notify credit card companies and other officials. That makes personal document shredders a fairly practical expense.

Document Shredders for Business

There also are many shredders available for business use. It's important for business to routinely shred documents to potentially protect clients and to also protect the confidential information of employees. In fact, many states have laws in places that spell which types of documents must be destroyed and when and which documents must be permanently saved. Particularly for medium-sized and larger companies, the job of document destruction can be performed in-house or by companies that offer shredding services. Experts say companies should consider the following issues when deciding whether to hire a private company to handle document destruction:

  • Cost analysis. What is the cost of for business-sized document shredders, along with maintenance expenses, compared to the time expended by company employees to dispose of confidential company documents.
  • Work time analysis. How much time is expended by employees who handle document destruction, instead of taking care of other tasks for the company.
  • Sensitive materials. Do you want any employees other than top level managers handling confidential documents? Some companies prefer to hire a reputable company to handle document shredding to reduce the number of eyes in the company that potentially can view sensitive employee records or documents important company documents.

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