Frequently Asked Questions
Why should our company shred?
Identity theft is a serious problem for businesses and individuals alike. Eleven million people were the victims of identity theft in 2009. Your customers trust you to protect their confidential information from getting into the wrong hands. Shredding those confidential documents will help protect you and your customers. Besides being the right and ethical thing to do, it’s required by many regulations.
The example on the right is a credit card solicitation letter we ran through a strip shredder typical of a small office machine. We reconstructed it in less than 15 minutes. Shredded materials from an office shredder are easy to put back together and services are available that electronically scan shreds to reconstruct documents. If your shreds are simply thrown out in the office trash, all you have done is show the dumpster divers what to take.
Our shredders rip paper into inconsistent patterns rendering it completely destroyed. We shreds massive volumes of material which are commingled with materials from scores of other businesses. It is virtually impossible to reconstruct a document.
Also, typical office shredders can’t handle all materials. The papers that need to be shredded are often held together by binders, paper clips, staples and covers. These items normally need to be removed as the office shredders will not handle this material. Tapes, CDs, and other media also have confidential information on them.
TriStar Document Shredding uses large, industrial destruction equipment and we provide secure containers into which employees can conveniently deposit documents to be shredded.
Is my business legally required to shred information?
Your organization must comply with laws and regulations, requiring that it protect certain information when it is discarded. An increasing number of laws actually require organizations to shred or face steep fines. At the federal level FACTA (credit report), HIIPAA (healthcare) and Gramm-Leach-Bliley (financial) require specific physical safeguards, such as shredding to meet compliance. Stiff penalties could result.
How do I protect my customers?
Whether your customers are consumers concerned about identity theft and privacy or companies concerned with protecting trade information, you are entrusted with information they consider to be extremely confidential. You have an “implied contract” to protect that information simply based on the fact that you are collecting the data to conduct business. They have the legal right to expect you to take every precaution to protect it, including shredding it before it is discarded.
What do I need to do to protect my employees?
Employees (past and present) have a legal right to have their personal information protected by shredding before it is discarded. Insurance records, employment applications, time cards, health records, accident reports and attendance records are examples of information that legally must be protected.
What is my corporate responsibility?
It is very important that your organization exhibits the highest ethical standards. Casually discarding company information whether in the form of an individual’s personal information, or company trade information, shows a callous disregard for customer and shareholder welfare. It exposes customers to the threat of identity theft and other fraud. It also risks your company losing its trade secret protections in court.
How can I protect my company's trade secrets?
The courts have demonstrated many times that they will not recognize trade information protections if a company doesn’t take every step to protect the information themselves. Casual disposal of information has been the basis for courts to deny trade information rights, which otherwise would have been enforceable. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that you forfeit the right of ownership to discarded information.
Do you shred in our office?
No. Onsite shredding is performed outside of your location usually in the parking lot in one of our state-of-the-art shredding trucks. Our equipment is designed specifically for document destruction.
Why not just recycle it?
Recycling alone does not establish the necessary requirements information destruction, such as:
- how it was destroyed
- where it was destroyed
- who destroyed it
- when it was destroyed
- legal chain of custody
- fiduciary obligations
TriStar Document Shredding recycles everything we can after destroying it and the process we use does not create a situation in which the shredded materials are retrievable by unauthorized personnel.
Recycling 1 ton of paper saves:
- 17 trees
- 4100 kilowatt hours of electricity
- 7000 gallons of water
- 3.30 cubic yards of landfill space
- 60 pounds of air pollutants
What if I have a large amount of documents to be destroyed?
Office shredders won’t help you with large record purges. Even if an office shredder could keep up with the large volume of daily shredding (which, in most cases, it can’t), what happens when you have to destroy more records than normal? Maybe you are cleaning old records out of storage or someone just cleans out his office. Even the slightest surge in the amount of material to be destroyed creates a nightmare for employees armed only with a small office shredder. Of course, the greater risk is that someone will simply decide not to shred it. TriStar Document Shredding uses industrial shredders capable of destroying hundreds of pounds of material per minute. Even a major purge of records doesn’t give our equipment the slightest problem.
The Federal Trade Commission Red Flag Rules
HHS Information on HIPAA Regulations
Convenience equals compliance and peace of mind.