A modern office makes use of both paper and digital documents of all kinds, and neither one makes the other redundant or obsolete. Despite the power of the internet and computers, paper documents still have their place in academic and work settings, and this includes advertising, too, such as posters, flyers, and the like. But paper has its limits, and once there is too much paper in a school or an office, it becomes a liability, and something must be done. This is why secure paper shredding is performed, and this labor is often outsourced to industrial office shredder companies. Many of these firms don’t just use secure paper shredders; they also scan the documents and upload them into the client’s data servers and Cloud accounts before destroying them with their commercial paper shredders. Why must these secure paper shredders be used, and what kind of documents might be fed into them?
The Issues With Paper
There are several distinct reasons why secure paper shredders must be used every so often in a school or an office. For one thing, having excess paper around increases the risks of sensitive data being stolen or copied, for any number of reasons. Dishonest office workers may swipe paper documents and share them with competitors, or use them for their own dishonest or even illegal purposes. Identity theft and fraud are also enabled by excess paper, and this can compromise a person’s credit cards, bank accounts, and more. It may be noted that around 30% of consumers neglect to shred documents that contain sensitive data before discarding them, and companies are also sloppy about this, sometimes. Similarly, 49% of surveyed consumers think that their security habits are making them more vulnerable to identity theft and related information fraud crimes. Now, imagine if a company leaked that information by accident with so many loose papers on the premises.
Security breaches aren’t the only reason excess paper is harmful. All of that paper needs to be stored somewhere, and this means having enough boxes and filing cabinets to store it all. That is going to take up a lot of space, and worse yet, a number of important documents may be buried in that mess and prove difficult to find or replicate. There are significant financial costs to retrieving or recreating these lost paper documents, and the costs can add up pretty quickly. This is made worse by the fact that many office workers accidentally misfile papers, making them even harder to find.
Finally, excess paper is simply a fire hazard, and fires can be hugely destructive. Papers and their files can easily burn, and this may happen when a frayed wire touches them and sets them on fire (the inner wire will be very hot). Or, sparks from a damaged electronic device may set those papers on fire. Although most companies no longer allow smoking as they did in previous decades, the risk of fire is still serious, and paper is kindling waiting to burn.
Document Scanning and Shredding
When an office’s paper hoard becomes large enough, the manager may look up and hire document scanner/shredder firms, and these workers will arrive with their secure paper shredders and document scanners alike. In great quantities, these outsourced workers will scan those documents and upload them into that client’s Cloud account and data server, preserving them in digital form. Once that’s done, the paper copies are shredded en masse, and the shredded paper may then be taken out for recycling. This may be done routinely as the office’s paper collection slowly grows back.
Doing this can save the company a lot of money, since the documents are much easier to find in a Cloud account or data server, and aren’t easily lost. With all those paper documents gone, that’s one less fire hazard in the office, and a lot of room is cleared up, too. And, of course, these digital files are easy to email to remote workers, and those remote office workers can also retrieve them in the company’s Cloud account. It would be impractically slow to mail all these documents with paper and the USPS.