Spring has sprung, and as spring cleaning begins, could now also be the perfect time for a spring clean of your confidential materials?
Many scientific and psychological studies show that being in a cluttered environment can cause higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone).¹ It can also result in a reduced ability to concentrate.² In a year where we’ve all spent a lot of time in isolation, it’s vital to be mindful of things that can cause us additional stress. So, in line with the tradition of spring cleaning, now could be the perfect time to get our homes and workplaces sanitised and organised ready for reuniting with our loved ones and colleagues. But could now also be the perfect time to have a spring clean of your confidential materials? We certainly think so. Here’s why.
Spring cleaning at home – personal paperwork.
With the promise of soon being able to entertain guests in the home, you might be contemplating a spring clean. If you are, there are good reasons to consider shredding your old confidential materials as part of the process.
The risk of fraud.
One reason for this is the risk of fraud. Fraud is the most common crime in England and Wales, and anti-fraud experts also believe that in times of economic crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic, fraud crimes are likely to increase. Additionally, it’s worth bearing in mind that fraud isn’t always committed by strangers over the internet. Quite often, fraud is committed by people the victims know and trust. Fraud committed by friends or family made up for around 6-7% of cases in 2020, with some of the main victims being elderly relatives. Nobody wants to suspect their good friends or family members of committing these acts. However, financial desperation and feelings of shame can cause people to act in ways they normally wouldn’t. It has been a tough year for many, and these types of crimes aren’t unheard of.
One way people commit identity theft for monetary gain is by stealing documents containing personal information. This can include letters from your doctor, banking information, insurance information, and much more. If you’re planning on having guests this summer, it’s worth taking measures to protect your homes and your data. One way you can protect yourself and vulnerable family members is by destroying any unneeded documents containing personal information. For the documents that you need to keep, try to digitise where possible. This will mean paper copies aren’t at risk of being stolen.
Reduce stress through decluttering.
Security reasons aside, another good reason to clear out your confidential files is to save space and declutter. In the words of viral organising expert Marie Kondo, only keep hold of things that “spark joy”. We already mentioned that a cluttered environment can cause heightened feelings of stress. So, after what has been a highly stressful year for many of us, it’s time to de-stress, enjoy our safe spaces, and look forward to getting back to a new normal. If you’re planning on decluttering this spring, destroying old files can free up a lot of space. You’ll also have peace of mind that these files and folders aren’t at risk of being misused.
Why use a shredding service provider?
Home shredders are not likely to be very secure in terms of shred size and are very costly to maintain. Rather than spending money on an expensive home shredder, why not use a shredding service provider like Shred Station?
By using a shredding service provider, your documents will be shredded to the highest of security standards, with no public access to your documents before or after they are destroyed. You won’t have to painstakingly remove staples, paper clips and plastic wallets, or shred each document sheet by sheet. Our domestic shredding service is extremely fast, and our industrial shredders can shred around 150,000 sheets of paper every 15 minutes for on-site shredding. With our off-site shredding service, we’ll be out of your hair even faster! Our shredding services are also eco-friendly and competitively priced.
Spring cleaning at business premises – Cleaning out archives, documents, and home workers’ confidential paperwork from the last 12 months.
Spring cleaning isn’t just for individuals. It’s something that a lot of businesses take part in too! With many workspaces being largely unused for the past year, now is the perfect time to deep clean and declutter before employees begin their phased return to the workplace.
Destroying unwanted documents or data storage devices will help your employees stay on top of your organisation’s data retention schedule. Incorrectly disposing of your confidential business documents could be a costly mistake, so we recommend a Shred Everything policy for paperwork that you no longer require as part of your spring-cleaning regimen.
Remote workers’ confidential materials.
Another thing to bear in mind is the confidential business documents your remote workers have accrued while working remotely. It is against the law for business documents to be disposed of in domestic waste and recycling bins, so this information should also be securely destroyed or brought back into the office. If your employees will continue to work from home beyond spring, it could be worth investing in a regular, tracked postal shredding service such as Ship2Shred to enable your remote workers to destroy business documents securely.
Shred Station provides services on a one-off or regular basis to suit you. If you want to keep up with your data destruction obligations all year round, we would highly recommend a regular shredding schedule. This can decrease the risk of data breaches occurring through lost or stolen documents. It can also help ensure you operate within your organisation’s data retention schedules in line with GDPR. You’ll even receive a Waste Transfer Note and Certificate of Destruction after every collection for your compliance records.
If you need a secure shredding service as part of your spring cleaning plans, get in touch today! We have a variety of services and schedules available to suit your needs. All of our services meet EN 15713 shredding standards and are carbon neutral certified.
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