Category Archives: News, Updates, and Articles

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Document shredding is easier that you think!

When you want to have your confidential files and records properly and safely destroyed in Connecticut so you don’t have to worry about your private information getting into the wrong hands you have an easy way to do that with on-site shredding services.

Connecticut Laws That Apply To Document Destruction

The law makers of the State of CT have made it clear with that protecting private information is not only important but it is required by law.

Sec. 42-471. Safeguarding of personal information. Social Security numbers. Privacy protection policy. Civil penalty. (a) Any person in possession of personal information of another person shall safeguard the data, computer files and documents containing the information from misuse by third parties, and shall destroy, erase or make unreadable such data, computer files and documents prior to disposal.

Identity Theft in Connecticut

Connecticut has laws addressing identity theft, which generally occurs when one person, without authorization, uses another person’s personally identifying information for an illegal purpose. Identity theft is a class B, C, or D felony in Connecticut, depending on the value of the goods or services involved. It is also a crime in Connecticut to give, sell, or otherwise transfer another person’s personal identifying information. In addition to criminal penalties, Connecticut law allows victims of identity theft to bring civil actions for damages against their offenders.

The Best Shredding Option in CT

FileShred is a locally owned and operated document destruction company that offers both residential and business customers professional mobile shredding at their location.   They have a fleet of trucks that have been specially manufactured with industrial shredders that cut paper records in many directions so when it’s done your information can’t be read off the tiny particles of paper it creates.  The cross cutting blades not only destroy documents but they also cut through staples, paper clips and other bindery accessories so you don’t have to do much to prepare to have your documents shredded other than deciding which ones you want to eliminate.

Mobile Shredding Has Significant Advantages

The obvious advantage is the convenience onsite mobile shredding offers.  The trucks comes to your Connecticut location and all of your files are destroyed their.  Another advantage is it provides a greater level of security.  Your documents are being destroyed before the truck pulls away and you can witness them being shredded so there is never a question about when or where your papers with your personal information are no longer at risk.  Drop off or offsite shredding is when you leave your papers at some location to be destroyed or a company picks up your files and takes them away before they are shredded.  These two options increase the chance of error and your documents are no longer in your control before they are destroyed.

Ordering Is Also Easy

FileShred is a company that makes getting information, pricing and making an appointment as easy as a phone call.  They have well trained staff answer any call into their office so you will be able to speak with someone right away about your shredding project.  It’s amazing today to find a company that provides service the old fashion way with person to person interaction in a world that has become increasingly dependent on technology for customer service.  They will take the time to explain their different services and help you pick the best option for you.  On the same call you will be able to get a quote and make your service appointment.

Document Shredding Pricing

Make sure you know the total cost of the shredding service you are considering.  FileShred makes it simple because they give you a price per container they provide to put your documents in.  The cost per container is based on the type of service you choose like onetime or ongoing shredding and the volume of paper to destroy and frequency of service.  After they give you the cost per container the only other charge is sales tax.  Be careful with other companies, they like to charge additional fees and surcharges.  FileShred is one of the few companies that doesn’t add on any of those costs.

The Next Step

The next step is up to you.  Just give this good local and family owned document destruction company located in Connecticut a call when you want to shred those documents you no longer need to keep.  You’ll be glad you did.  They offer next day service Monday through Saturday.

 

 

 

 

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On-Call Document Shredding Leaves Where & When Up To You

We all know that paper shredding is important to both businesses and residents.  Even though you may not need to securely destroy confidential records that often it makes it no less important.  If you are worried that because you don’t need to shred frequently it may limit your options you are going to be pleasantly surprised.

On-call Document Destruction is Available When You Want It

Our on-demand service is available to you six days a week.  That means you can give us a call and make an appointment for our professional service to come to you any day you want Monday through Saturday.  All you have to do is tell us what day you want your files shredded and we will be there on the date you requested.

On-call On-site Shredding Is Available Where You Want It

Were mobile so we can come to any location you have your private files to destroy them.  Our fleet of industrial paper destruction trucks shred wherever you need them to shred.  We can come to your home, office, storage facility or any place you are storing paper records that are ready to be destroyed.

Here’s How to Order Your On-Call Service

When you decide you want to destroy personal files or business records just give us a call.  Anytime you call we have our staff ready to help you with all aspects your shredding project.  We’ll answer your questions and then determine how much you have to destroy so we can give you a price quote.  Our proposal will be include reasonable pricing that is easy to understand and it will NOT have any extra fees and surcharges that our competition likes to charge.  If you are ready to set up your service you can also make an appointment on the same call.  We offer appointments as soon a tomorrow or any day you want Monday to Saturday.

On-Call Shredding You Can Witness

Since we come to our customer’s locations to destroy their documents they can see their papers being shredded as we do it.  Our trucks that are equipped with the industry’s most powerful mobile shredders also have a customer viewing station on the side of the truck.  There is a monitor at the viewing station that is hooked up to a camera system that lets our clients actually see their papers going through the cross-cutting blades and turned into tiny particles of paper that is un-readable.

Why FileShred

We are a local family owned business that has built our excellent reputation on our superior service that focuses on the individual needs of each customer.  We take all the time necessary for you to be comfortable with your decision to use our company for your shredding service.  We make sure we are as flexible as you need us to be to come to your location on the date of your choosing to destroy your private files.  We also do all the work for you so all you have to do is point to the records you want shredded and we do the rest.  We make document destruction simple, convenient and affordable.

 

 

 

 

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What is a Clean Desk Policy?

The concept of a “Clean Desk Policy” is a pretty simple and self-explanatory one. Essentially this policy is a documented protocol that sets the standards for how employees should handle documents and information in an organization. Sometimes called “clean screen” policies, they are used to help companies outline the proper steps each employee must take in order to ensure confidential information about the company and its customers isn’t accessible to anyone outside the company or without the proper permissions.

It typically includes the following:

  • How employees should leave their work-space at the end of the day
  • How computers, laptops, and other devices should be secured
  • What type of information should and should not be physically printed
  • Guidelines for the proper & secure storage of sensitive documents
  • How to properly dispose of documents containing confidential material
  • How to properly handle access cards, keys, etc.

Benefits of a Clean Desk Policy for Your Business

The biggest advantage of adopting a Clean Desk Policy is the increased security levels it provides for your business, employees and clients. Maintaining a clutter-free and organized office keeps your sensitive information safe and secure from outside threats, which could include theft.

With that said, there are additional benefits in choosing to roll out a Clean Desk Policy that is tailored to accommodate your business’ security needs. By doing so, you:

  • Protect your company, your clients, and your reputation
  • Promote better organization within your company
  • Reduce operating costs for things like printers, paper, ink, etc
  • Increase productivity levels and reduce stress for your employees
  • Make a better first impression for anyone who visits your office

How Do I Start a Clean Desk Policy?

Luckily getting started with this is much easier than you think! Feel free to use this downloadable Clean Desk Policy Template to get you on the right path towards secure, document management. This clean desk policy template is super simple to use and provides you with all the steps necessary in implementing your policy successfully.  Of course, this is just a template, so you are welcome to remove or add in additional procedures or policies as you see fits. This is supposed to serve as a jumping-off point, so it is highly recommended that you customize the template so that it’s exclusive to your organization.

FileShred Can Help You with Your Clean Desk Policy

With all that extra paper that used to sit on your employees’ desks, where is it being disposed of? Hopefully the files aren’t now taking up room in your recycling/trash bins, as this poses some serious red flags that should be avoided. Why? Even with an iron-clad Clean Desk Policy, all those regulations are useless if dumpster divers can still access and use that information, which is exactly what can happen if it’s thrown out without properly being destroyed. Your Clean Desk Policy should end with secure document shredding, plain and simple. Professional document shredding services ensure your documents are protected from the moment they are collected, through until they are thoroughly shred for your security.

If you’re concerned files are slipping out the door and want to make some serious security improvements, you should highly consider this policy.  Interested in learning more on how to introduce this to your team?  We will happily guide you along the way.

Get in touch with FileShred for assistance with implementing your Clean Desk Policy, or for more details regarding our secure shredding services.

Call 855-54-SHRED

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Items You Should Be Shredding

With the continuing rise in identity theft and corporate espionage businesses and individuals need to be aware of ways to keep themselves protected. There are many documents that are often forgotten about that can leave your business open to security breaches and individuals exposed to identity theft. Here are some documents you should be shredding, but probably aren’t:

Magazine Cover With A Labels

Those magazine labels have your name address and a barcode that can be read and may contain much more of your personal information than you realize.  Shred them all to play it safe.

Old Luggage Tags

How many time do you get ready for a trip and the old label is still on the luggage and you rip it off and just toss it in the trash.  Those tags have your name and a barcode that has all of your travel information on them that thieves can use.

Used Airline Tickets & Boarding Passes

Your boarding pass or airline ticket has your name, your travel plans, and a barcode that can reveal your frequent-flier number, that can be used to log in to airline accounts to view upcoming travel plans, check in to flights, and even cancel trips.

Junk Mail

Junk mail is not junk to identity thieves. Most people junk mail is just trash, but junk mail may have barcode on them that may contain your personally information. This includes pre-qualified credit card offers, insurance company offers and lending institutions.  Offers from organizations like AAA, AARP or other membership organizations that may have your personal information on the mailer.  You should shred all of your junk mail, including the return envelopes provided with it.

Child- and School-Related Mail

Identity thieves don’t discriminate and they aren’t known for their conscience, so they won’t care if they steal a Social Security Number belonging to a child. So any mail you receive concerning your children, their medical records, and school information should be shredded.  Don’t forget about any mail containing your authorization for school field trips, school applications, and report cards also need to be shredded.

Prescription Receipts

It’s not just the label on the pill bottle but the receipt stapled to the Rx bag you need to shred. These labels may list your name, the date of dispensing, the name and strength of the drug, and the  pharmacist’s name address and phone number. Thieves may use this info to refill prescriptions or steal your identity.

Photos

Photos of yourself, family member, employees, customers, and suppliers may seem harmless, but thieves can use these photos to make up an identity. Combine this with any other personal information they may have collected and you could be in trouble. Keep your personal, employees and customers safe by shredding these photos instead of tossing them into the trash.

Resumes & Employment Applications

When people apply looking for jobs a hard copy of their resume and other documents containing personal information is often left behind. This information would be all too easy for identity thieves to take advantage of. Keep these applications in a locked location and shred when no longer needed.

Shipping Labels

Shipping labels include confidential information such as your business’s address and account numbers. Mail room employees should always remove and shred these labels before boxes or packages are broken down and recycled.

Scratch Pad Notes

Hand written notes created everyday. These convenient pieces of paper that are easy to grab and write down information when on a call or making notes in a meeting. What is written on these notes are confidential information like account numbers, passwords, pricing and many other private information. But unfortunately these notes are no longer needed they are often just thrown into the trash. Keep yourself protected by always shredding these notes.

Add these items to all the other documents you want shredded and give FileShred a call to shred them.

 

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Introduction: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Understanding NAID and FACTA Compliance

Shredding documents is an important part of making sure a business stays in compliance with regulations that are put in place to protect confidential consumer information. If a business is found to be in violation of these regulations they can be fined up to $500 and $500,000 per event well as being responsible for paying damages and restitutions to any of their customers whose information was compromised.

In this whitepaper, we will seek to inform the reader about the important pieces of legislation and the organizations that set document destruction guidelines and regulations for businesses in the United States. The two main focuses of this document will be on The National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and The Fair and Accurate Transitions Act (FACTA) and the respective roles they both play in regards to the safe and ethical disposal of consumers’ private financial information.

What is FACTA?

FACTA was a piece of legislation that was passed in 1970 that amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and established regulations to help protect consumers from their data being taken and their identity being stolen. It established important tenements such as Red Flag Rules, the right to access an annual free credit report, and the proper disposal requirements of sensitive information.

What is the NAID?

The NAID is the international governing organization for companies like FileShred who provide document destruction services. Their job is to set standards for the ethical and responsible handling of consumer information while promoting the industry as a whole. They offer voluntary certifications for their members to show that their document destruction procedures are in line with the highest possible standards.

Becoming FACTA Compliant

There are several requirements for making sure a document destruction business is in full compliance with FACTA.

Red Flag Rules

The biggest change that came with the Fair and Accurate Transactions Act was the implementation of “Red Flag Rules.” These rules force financial institutions to develop an Identity Theft Prevention Program that is designed to help prevent and detect practices and patterns that could lead to identity theft. These programs should be able to identify and detect red flags as they happen, as well as being able to respond to any suspicious activity as quickly as possible. It is also required that organizations provide training to staff members about Red Flag Rules and the best practices associated with them. Institutions are required to regularly update their program as identity theft threats change and evolve.

Free Credit Reports

FACTA established that every consumer is entitled to one free credit report per year from one of the three national credit reporting companies.

Alerts & Monitoring

In order to let consumers have more control over their own information, FACTA allows the creation of systems that can be set up to distribute personal alerts in regards to a consumer’s credit history.

Proper Disposal

Last, but certainly not least, FACTA sets rules on how to properly dispose of classified consumer information. According to a press release from the FTC,

“The Rule requires disposal practices that are reasonable and appropriate to prevent the unauthorized access to – or use of – information in a consumer report. For example, reasonable measures for disposing of consumer report information could include establishing and complying with policies to: burn, pulverize, or shred papers containing consumer report information so that the information cannot be read or reconstructed; destroy or erase electronic files or media containing consumer report information so that the information cannot be read or reconstructed; or conduct due diligence and hire a document destruction contractor to dispose of material specifically identified as consumer report information consistent with the Rule. Due diligence could include: reviewing an independent audit of a disposal company’s operations and/or its compliance with the Rule; obtaining information about the disposal company from several references; requiring that the disposal company be certified by a recognized trade association; or reviewing and evaluating the disposal company’s information security policies or procedures.”

NAID AAA Certification

When conducting an audit, NAID’s AAA Certification inspectors closely monitor a number of different aspects of a data destruction company’s operations in regards to:

  • Employee Requirements
  • Operational Security
  • Endorsements & The Destruction Process
  • Company Assurances

If you’d like to view the extensive and lengthy requirements that must be met for each category, you may do so by viewing page 31 of this document that outlines the certification program in greater detail.

Ensuring Information Destruction is Fully FACTA Compliant

While the majority of FACTA only applies to financial institutions and creditors, the proper disposal of sensitive and confidential information is best left to a commercial document destruction service provider that can be sure to meet the standards outlined in the rules above.

NAID AAA Certification Provides Extra Protection for Your Business

By making sure that your document destruction is handled by an NAID AAA Certified vendor, you ensure the compliance of their services and gain further peace of mind with an official stamp of approval from a third-party expert.

Summary

The NAID and FACTA are both important to maintaining consumer privacy and security. While The NAID sets standards and offers certifications regarding the responsible disposal and destruction of client and consumer information, FACTA ensures that financial institutions take measures to protect a consumer’s identity and give them greater control over their own information. If you are a financial institution, it’s important that you are in compliance with FACTA regulations and make sure that the company that handles your document destruction is NAID AAA Certified. By doing so you protect yourself, your customers, and your bottom dollar and avoid expensive fines or penalties that come from the improper destruction of private information.

Thank You

For more information, visit:
www.fileshred.net

Why You Should Shred Everything2

Why You Should Shred Everything

There are a number of reasons why you should shred every piece of paper.

1. More Than Half of All Documents Contain Private Information – The first reason is more than half of every document has a piece of information on them that federal and state privacy laws require they be shredded before they are disposed of so that information is no longer accessible. So it pays to play it safe and shred everything.

2. Many Different Types of Documents Contain Private Information – Some documents that you may not realize have enough of your information in them for identity thieves to use to steal someone’s identity like junk mail. Credit card offers or business loans companies all send out customized marketing materials that could be used by identity thieves so every paper document no matter what it is should be shredded.

3. Reviewing Every Documents Takes A lot of Time – You will save yourself a lot of time by shredding everything. The time it will take you to review every single page to determine if it should be shredded will be enormous and you or a member of your staff have better and more productive things to do with your time.

4. You Or Someone in Your Company Will Make a Mistake – Shredding everything will eliminate the possibility of making a mistake. You are going to make a mistake at some point because it is such a monotonous task to have to review every single page. It is not humanly possible for someone to maintain their focus on every page they review and not miss something. The costs of for making a mistake with the fines and penalties for violating a privacy law along with the loss of confidence in your company could be devastating. There is no question that the best course of action is to shred everything!

You have two options for the secure destruction of your confidential records;

One-time Shredding – A onetime service turns onsite document destruction into an on-demand service. What that means is you can have your papers destroyed only when you decide you want to get it done. This option is for companies and individuals that have an occasional need for shredding services.

Scheduled Document Destruction

This option is usually more geared for businesses because it is secure mobile shredding on a set schedule. Like clockwork our trained technicians show up at your office to remove your files and shred them in the truck waiting outside. Your schedule can be daily to monthly or any time-frame in between. To make the process easier we supply our ongoing customers with locked containers that they keep in their office so anytime they need to dispose of a document they have a secure place to discard them and keep them safe until they are destroyed.

FileShred is a local family owned document destruction company that serves the document destruction needs of residents and businesses in Connecticut and the Springfield are of Massachusetts.

Wet Paper Shredding2

Wet Paper Shredding

Yes wet documents can be shredded!

Unfortunately water damage occurs and with it many cases personal or business documents are affected.  When paper is damaged by water, there is an immediate need to take the necessary steps to preserve them or destroy them to prevent mold or mildew.   Left unattended wet paper can not only lead to problems with mold and mildew.

What to do if your documents were damaged by water?

  • Determine if you need to save the documents.  If so move them to a cool dry place right away because mold will start to grow in only 2-3 days.  Take them out of the boxes.  Don’t try to separate them. If possible keep them in stacks about ¼” thick.  Place them on something absorbent like towels and change them regularly.  Then get a dehumidifier to remove the moister in the air.  Also, get a fan to keep the air moving.  These steps will help prevent mold and mildew.  If they need to be professionally restored there is a process of Freeze Drying the documents but it is a very expensive time consuming process.
  • If you decide that you don’t want to keep the documents they still need to be shredded because information can still be recovered by identity thieves.
  • If possible dry the documents they are easier to shred.  Go through the same process described above.   Since there is a tendency for the papers to stick together after they dry the shredding process is slower.
  • If time does not permit drying the documents they can be shredded wet but it will be more expensive and take twice as long because the documents will have to be feed into the shredder at a lesser and slower volume so it does not clog or clump up in the shredder.

What If My Documents Are Already Moldy?

  • Mold can be a health hazard to people, so limit handling moldy items and being in the area they are in.  Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. Allergic reactions may be hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.  Allergic reactions to mold are very common. They can be immediate or delayed.  Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold.  Mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold allergic and non-allergic individuals.
  • Avoid breathing in mold or mold spores. In order to limit your exposure to airborne mold, you may want to wear an N-95 respirator, available at many local hardware stores.
  • Wear gloves. Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended.  Ordinary household rubber gloves may be used.  Avoid touching mold or moldy items with your bare hands.
  • If you don’ want or need to keep the documents call a professional document shredding company and let them know the papers are moldy.  Let them know if they are dry or still moist.  They will come prepared to handle and shred the document properly.

If you have wet or moldy documents give FileShred a call [phone] we have the experiences and processes in place to safely shred your wet papers.

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I know we would like to think with today’s technology we would be using less paper but the facts are paper usage is increasing every year.  Companies receive and create documents every business day. You’re sending letters, making proposals, generating invoices just to name a few of the tasks that you use paper for.  The mail comes every day and you are receiving letters, bills, payments and countless other documents. Some of these documents need to be kept for a period of time and others are read and can be disposed of right away.  Since more than half of every document has some information on them that privacy laws require they be shredded before they are disposed of it pays to play it safe and shred all documents when they are no longer needed.

So now you know you need to shred records and you have two choices. The first is to shred the documents in-house or the second choice is to hire a professional shredding service like FileShred.  So how do you decide which way to go? Here are some facts to consider about in-house vs hiring a company like FileShred. After we hope you will agree that hiring an on-site shredding service in the way to go in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

1. In-House  Shredding is More Expensive

When you consider of what you pay each of your employees now think about one of them sitting for hours and hours in front of one of those small office shredders feeding just a few sheets of paper at a time through the shredder so it doesn’t get jammed.  Now think about how many more productive things they could be doing for your business. When you factor in all of those costs you’ll find that hiring a mobile shredding service is the way to go.

2. Document Shredding Services Offer A Greater Level Of security

Most shredders you can buy at an office supply store are strip cut shredders which means that it cute the paper into long strips that are easy to reconstruct.  If you can buy a cross cut shredder it will destroy them but it takes so long to do your documents may be sitting around unprotected for days.

With a professional document destruction service they will supply you with locked containers to put any of the business records you want destroyed can be safely stored until they are destroyed by their industrial shredder.

FileShred is NAID AAA Certified. That means we exceed the highest standards in the industry for security and professionalism.  To maintain our AAA Certification we must pass regular, unannounced audits to ensure that we properly dispose of our clients’ documents.

3. A Professional Shredding Services Will Make You Compliant With Privacy Laws

Personal identifying information is often collected by businesses and is stored in various formats–digital and paper.  Most states have enacted laws that require private entities to destroy, dispose, or otherwise make personal information unreadable or undecipherable.  That means shredding.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Disposal Rule also requires proper disposal of information in consumer reports and records to protect against “unauthorized access to or use of the information.” The rule applies to consumer reports or information derived from consumer reports. HIPAA also has disposal requirements for protected health information.

In-house document destruction can be risky for companies when it comes to compliance. By outsourcing your document shredding to a NAID AAA Certified company, you can ensure compliance and provide your customers with the comfort of knowing that their records will be handled properly and destroyed in accordance with the law.

4. Professional Shredding Services Can Destroy Paper and Electronic Records

Identity thieves and corporate spies know how to recover electronic files even after you have deleted them on your hard drive.  You must have the hard drive physically destroyed so the files can never be accessed again.

Hiring  shredding service will make certain that your electronic records have truly been destroyed. You won’t need to worry about someone being able to access them because the NAID AAA service provider you hire will follow security standards that perform and document the complete destruction of your electronic records.

5. Outsourced Shredding Services Will Help You Have A Consistent Shredding Schedule

With all the things you and your staff have to do every day with operating your business it pays to hire a service that makes a task easier and better for your company.  A document destruction company will put a scheduled service in place so the secure destruction of business records is automatic.

You’ll be provided with locked containers to dispose of all paper records in then on a regular schedule the company will come to empty and shred all the documents that have been deposited in the containers.

The Bottom Line

In-house shredding may seem convenient, but it will cost you more time, money, and it’s not as secure as a professional service.  To learn more and how we can help you destroy confidential records properly visit our website, www.fileshred.net.

How to Choose the Best Document Shredding Services in CT2

How to Choose the Best Document Shredding Services in CT

How to Choose the Best Document Shredding Services in CT

Identity theft affects everyone: both businesses and individuals. So now more than ever, it is important to shred all your documents before they are disposed of to prevent any of your private information from getting into the wrong hands. Having as much information as possible will help you choose the best and most secure shredding service for you.

What’s the Right Document Shredding Company for You?

First, you need to know what shredding service you need. There are two basic services: one-time or scheduled shredding services. One-time shredding is just what it implies; it is for a single or infrequent document shredding need. If you are looking for a one-time shredding service, the shredding companies you are going to be calling are going to want to know how much you have to shred. It is easier than you think to calculate. Shredding companies will put your documents into shredding bins. For lack of a better description, they are large garbage pails on wheels with a security top. They come in two sizes: a 95-gallon or 65-gallon shredding bin. Make sure you ask the shredding company what size they use. The 95-gallon shredding bin holds about 300 pounds of paper and the 65-gallon shredding bin holds about 200 pounds of paper.

Documents in Boxes

If your documents are in boxes, it would be good to know the size of the boxes so the shredding company can calculate the number of bins. There are two basic size boxes for files: the small file box or the legal file box. The small file box holds about 30 pounds of paper and measures 15” in length, 12” in width, and 10 ½ “ in height. So, 10 full small file boxes fit into a 95-gallon shredding bin and 6 or 7 fit into a 65-gallon shredding bin. The legal file box holds about 60 pounds of paper and it measures 24” in length, 15” in width, and 10 ½ “in height. That means 5 full legal file boxes fit into a 95-gallon shredding bin and 3 fit into a 65-gallon shredding bin.

Documents in Garbage Bags

If your documents are in garbage bags, you need to know the size of the bags in gallons and then how full are they. Most people only fill garbage bags halfway because they do get heavy.  The shredding company will then be able to estimate the number of bins based on the information you provide.

Document in File Cabinets

If your documents are in file cabinets then just count the number of full file drawers that need to be shredded. About 4 full file drawers will fit into a 95-gallon shredding bin and about 2 ½ full file drawers will fit into a 65-gallon shredding bin. The number of bins may vary because file cabinets drawers vary in width from 30’ to 48”, but the majority of file draws are 36”.

Pricing for One-time Shredding

Make sure you are getting a price per shredding bin. The amount of paper in every box, garbage bag, or file drawer may vary, so if you get a price per box, garbage bag, or file drawer and they are not full, you are paying for shredding services you are not getting. If you are being charged per bin, the documents are emptied into the bin and you are only paying for the number of bins that are shredded. Make sure you ask if there are any additional fees, such as fuel surcharges, minimum charges, or stair charges if there is no elevator.

Scheduled Shredding

When you need to shred documents on a regular basis, then you should consider scheduled shredding services. Scheduled shredding is typically more geared toward businesses. The shredding service will provide you with shredding containers that can be placed in convenient locations throughout your office. The reason for this is so it is convenient for your staff to dispose of documents directly into the shredding containers instead of just throwing them away in a trash can. Shredding containers should be no more than 50 feet away from any employee. Any further away and employees tend not to use them. The shredding containers should be provided free of charge, and the shredding company should be able to provide any quantity you need.

Then the shredding company will come to your office on regular intervals, such as weekly, every other week, every four weeks, or monthly. If you need shredding regularly but not that frequently, you may be able to have on-call shredding, which means you call the shredding company when your shredding containers are full. There may be some minimum frequency that may apply such as at least one service per quarter. Don’t be afraid to tell the shredding services what you need. Many shredding companies are very accommodating. Make sure the shredding service will allow you to change your schedule if your needs change. Your volume of paper may go up or down, and they should be able to accommodate your changing needs.

It is important to remember that shredding is about information security and your staff must be trained to understand how important it is. A document shredding program is more successful if it is consistent, so it is better if your employees know that documents are shredded on a set schedule. Don’t let documents sit in shredding containers for an undetermined amount of time.

Many shredding companies require you to sign a contract. Make sure you are not locked in for a long period of time. You should be able to limit the contract period to one year. If hiring a scheduled shredding service is new for you, look for a company that will allow you to cancel the contract for any reason in the first 60-90 days. Excellent service should keep you using the same shredding company, not a contract term. Pricing for scheduled shredding services varies with every company. Usually, you will be charged a rate per shredding container. If you require five or more shredding containers, you may want to ask for a price per shredding bin. If you are putting many shredding containers throughout your office, the usage will probably vary and some containers may not be full. If the shredding containers are emptied into the shredding bins and you only pay for the bins being shredded, then you are not paying for shredding you are not getting. But, never sacrifice secure consistent shredding for a couple of dollars. Remember that consistency is always better for information security. You are protecting the information of your business, your clients, and your employees: that is what is paramount here. By doing this, you are also on your way to being compliant with federal and state privacy laws.

On-Site Versus Off-Site Shredding

Onsite document shredding is when the shredding service sends a truck to you to shred your documents. When the shredding truck arrives, your documents are placed into a shredding bin.  The bin should be locked and then moved to the shredding truck. The bin is then lifted into the truck by a hydraulic system and emptied into the truck where your documents are shredded.   Make sure the shredding service you choose has a truck that is equipped with a camera system that allows you to see your documents being shredded if you choose.

Off-site document shredding, or sometimes referred to as plant-based shredding, is when the shredding company sends a non-shredding truck to your location, and similar to on-site shredding, your documents are placed into a shredding bin. It should then be locked, and the bin is then taken and loaded onto the truck. The difference is that your documents will not be shredded until they return back to their facility. Many people are not comfortable with offsite because the documents leave your location unshredded. Some business have no choice but to use offsite shredding, such as a hospitals, because they can’t tie up their loading dock with an onsite shredding truck.

Here are some critical questions to ask the shredding company:

  1. Are there locks on all doors of the truck and are they locked?
  2. How are the bins protected in the truck so they don’t move around?
  3. Please explain the security of my documents when you leave the truck to pick up other documents.
  4. Are documents left on a truck overnight?
  5. How long does it take to shred my documents after they arrive back at your facility?
  6. Does your facility have a security system?
  7. Does your facility have a video surveillance system, and are my documents under constant video surveillance wherever they are in your facility?
  8. Are all of your employees background checked, drug tested, and have they signed confidentiality agreements?

Hiring a NAID AAA Certified company means they have all of the above and more. Remember that with off-site shredding there is more opportunity for a security breach, so choosing the right company is very important. Make sure you understand the risks, and it all comes down to your comfort level with the shredding company you choose.

Shredding at Retail Office Supply Stores or Mailbox Stores

You need to be very aware that in most cases they don’t shred your documents there.  They have a bin that your documents are placed into, and they may sit there for some time until an outside vendor comes to either shred the documents of remove the bin to shred them elsewhere. The reason most people choose this is because it is very economical for small amounts of paper. They charge somewhere around $1.00 per pound. If you choose this method to have your documents shredded, make sure you know who their shredding vendor is, and it would be preferable that they are AAA Certified by NAID.

HIPAA Shredding

If you are a healthcare provider all of the above is important when you choose a shredding service, but you have one more very important thing that needs to be done before you hire a shredding company: the Business Associate Agreement. A Business Associate Agreement, also referred to as BAA, is a signed agreement between you and your paper shredding vendor that requires a contractual obligation of your shredding vendor to appropriately safeguard protected health information (PHI). If you hire a shredding services without one, you are subject to significant fines. All reputable shredding companies will be able to supply you with one. Consider having your attorney look it over since the HIPAA rules require the BAA have certain requirements and language.

Narrowing Your Shredding Options

Now that you know what shredding service you are looking for, it is time to look for a company to provide the shredding service. Some information on privacy laws may help here. All privacy laws in some fashion require that you know who you are turning your documents over to for secure shredding. You have two choices:

  1. Vette the vendor yourself, which can be time consuming.
  2. Hire a certified shredding company this is certified by a nationally recognized trade organization.

There is only one nationally recognized trade organization that also helps federal and state governments write privacy laws: NAID, the National Association of information Destruction.  http://www.naidonline.org/.  NAID has a certification process that requires shredding companies to meet very strict standards that are verified through scheduled and surprise audits.

We hope the information we provided has been helpful. If you have more questions or if we can be of any help, feel free to call us at (860) 261-9595.

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What Is Certified Document Shredding?

Certified Document Shredding is more than someone giving you a piece of paper saying they shredded your files, and in fact a whole process of document shredding is required before that title is granted.

NAID AAA Certification and Why Is It Important?

AAA Certification ensures an organization that the vendor they have hired to destroy their business records adheres to the best and most secure standards established in the information destruction industry. Everything from drug testing and background checking of employees that handle your information to the process and procedures that must be followed from the minute documents are turned over to them until they are destroyed.  Certification can only be achieved and maintained through comprehensive auditing that is both scheduled and unannounced and performed by independent auditors approved by the National Association of Information Destruction.

NAID® (The National Association for Information Destruction) is the internationally recognized trade organization for companies providing information destruction services. NAID has developed the industry standards that federal and state governments have adopted with the creation of privacy laws.  They also approve the standards for suppliers of products, equipment, and services to document destruction companies. NAID’s goal is to develop and maintain the integrity of the information destruction industry.

The Certification Program is offered and promoted by NAID, but it is voluntary and available to all NAID member companies providing information destruction services. However, it is important to point out that not all members of NAID are AAA Certified. NAID members can become certified for Mobile and/or Plant-based destruction of paper documents, electronic media, computer hard drive destruction and/or computer hard drive sanitization. The NAID Certification Program establishes standards for a secure destruction process including such areas relating to information destruction services including operational security, employee hiring and screening, the destruction process, responsible disposal of destroyed materials and insurance coverages to protect all parties.

Why Choose AAA Certified Companies?

There are two reasons.  First, a company that has taken the difficult steps to become certified has shown that their performance is at the highest level in the industry.  Second, federal and state privacy laws require that you perform a thorough due diligence of any company you hire to destroy your business documents.  You can’t just give your confidential information to any shredding company and be compliant. The due diligence process is very time-consuming to do correctly.  There is an easier way to be compliant: hire a NAID AAA Certified company. In the information industry, there is only one NAID. When you choose a NAID Certified company, you satisfy the due diligence part of the law.

<How do I find a NAID Certified Company?

All AAA Certified Companies will display the AAA Certified logo on their website.  You can also go to http://directory.naidonline.org/ and click on the filter NAID AAA Certified Members and then just enter your zip code.

FileShred is a locally owned AAA Certified document shredding service that will help you implement the best document destruction program for your company in Connecticut and in the Springfield, Massachusetts area.  Give us a call in CT at (860) 261-9595 or in MA (413) 461-2330. You can also visit our website at www.fileshred.net.