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Secure Drop-Off Shredding – Is it Really Secure?

Posted on 29 September 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

It seems the latest and greatest fad in “Secure” Paper Shredding is to drop your documents off at postal packaging place.

I see this all over the web where Shredding Companies are advertising hundreds of drop-off shredding locations all over the city where you can leave your sensitive documents for shredding.

At one time I thought that this might be a good idea…

… Until I started to call around.

A few years ago I thought it would be a great idea to have a drop-off location in East San Diego County.

My goal was to find a small locally own postal packaging store or a small stationary store.

After a few minutes of searching on the Internet I found what I thought was the perfect candidate.

I called and upon speaking to a very nice lady I explained that I was a San Diego Shredding company looking to partner up with a local East County store, such as theirs, where customers could come and drop off documents to be shredded at a later time by one of our secure shredding trucks.

I went on to say that their postal store would merely act as temporary custodian of the documents, charge the customers a set price, and then we would come by and shred the document for a certain price – of course, for less than what the customer was charged.

She seemed to think that this could be a good idea and I thought, “Wonderful, this might actually be a great idea to better service customers and make some extra sales!”

I then asked this question, “Do you have a secure location in your facility to store these documents in-between our shredding service visits?”

She responded very matter-of-fact, “I guess we could keep them out back next to the dumpster.”

“Humm” I said, “Let me think about that and I’ll get back to you.”

I quickly said “Thank you” and hung up the phone.

This was a very quick and easy test that most folks don’t really get the security aspects of sensitive document disposal.

It’s not that they’re bad people or people out to commit fraud.

Not at all…

They just haven’t put any time and effort into thinking about these sorts of things.

And that is really the heart of the matter.

Does the place you’re taking your documents to really understand and appreciate the sensitivity of your documents?

I don’t want to imply that all these postal places are not taking care of your sensitive documents.

But I can pretty much guarantee they are not putting all the necessary precautions in place to prevent a security breach of your documents.

How do I know?

Well, Total Secure Shredding has customers who own these postal places and we show up on occasion to service the containers they have.

I myself have actually performed the service on occasion.

The only thing I can confirm about security is that once we take control, my policies and procedures kick into effect and things are secure once we take custody of the documents.

But before that point, I think there’s much left to be desired.

With regard to the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), it’s not really a big issue since there’s no claim that these postal stores are NAID Certified.

If you look closely, no one is claiming that these are secure facilities. You’re basically on your own in determining if you are leaving your documents at a trustworthy enough location.

I for one, refuse to list any of these locations (some who are in fact my customers) on my website.

Because, no matter what fine print I put on the website as a disclaimer, I’m implicitly endorsing and vouching for the security of your documents at that facility.

And quite frankly, there’s no way in hell I can do that unless they meet the strict guidelines I’ve but in place at my own facility – No matter what increase in revenue I could potentially see.

The liability to the Total Secure Shredding brand is just too great.

One “small” data breach could bring untold damages – Either in terms of real dollars or bad P.R.

So, all in all, please be careful where you drop-off your sensitive documents.

In the name of convenience, you may be sacrificing a lot in terms of security.

Until next time…

Keep Totally Secure,

Mike

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