In collaberation with James Rubin owner of Envirowaste

A recent study from London based environmental waste disposal company, Envirowaste recently found that from more than 800 London-based businesses that only a third of them disposed of confidential documents efficiently. It's even more surprising, especially with the Data Protection Act's rules regarding confidential waste which allows the Information Commissioner's Office to fine up to £500,000 for failing to comply.

A staggering two thirds of companies don't shred private documents

The Envirowaste survey found that among the confidential documents with incorrect disposal, contracts in particular are mishandled the most.

Throughout London, including its surrounding areas, Envirowaste estimate they have picked up 1.2 tonnes of confidential waste in the past year.

Of the companies who said they didn't dispose of confidential documents, when asked with the question "which of the following documents do you most commonly dispose of?", over half (53%) said client contracts, other common numbers documents included booking information (36%) and invoices (29%).

The business sectors who were the biggest culprits when it came to disposing of documents without shredding them was the Hospitality industry with 81%, marketing and PR with 74% and finance with 70%

Why should you be shredding your confidential documents?

Despite the increased awareness of the threat of data breaches, identify fraud, data breaches are still all too common. Shredding all confidential documents is highly recommended to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands; to safeguard reputation and to protect identities. This study from Envirowaste is slightly worrying, as all it takes is one mistake.

Ways your business can organise and manage their data securely:

Develop a retention policy

As a business, look at which confidential documents should be stored and for how long. Limit who has access to storage and files and implement this method across the company.

Mark a destruction date

This should be clearly marked on all documents and records in storage. Boxes with files in should contain lists with the complete content in a visible spot outside of the box to make it easily identifiable.

Hiring a reliable disposal service

Hiring a reliable service for your confidential documents disposal and destruction will provide you with a certificate of destruction once completed, companies like Envirowaste ensure that the materials are recycled once destroyed

A Shred-all policy

Implementing a regular shred-all policy on a regular basis show a commitment to a continuous cycle of destroying confidential data in a secure manner whilst dramatically minimising the risk of exposure and data breaches.

Office clearance from Envirowaste ensures destruction of confidential material policy. They aim to spread the message around London to be careful with their confidential documents.

James Rubin owner of EnviroWaste said,

"It's good to see the demand of our secure document destruction service getting busier, it means businesses are aware of the importance of keeping confidential documents secure and destroyed properly. However, the issue comes when we find confidential documents coming through our doors as part of the general waste clearances we carry out, meaning the customer has not taken the time to separate the sensitive documents from their general waste. Our secure destruction of confidential material policy protects our customers for material in our care, but if companies are using other recycling services, or worse just putting these documents in the bin, there can be little to no protection."

 "We're getting better at protecting ourselves online, but companies need ensure policies around confidential documents are being followed. There may be a false sense of security that comes with recycling, but shredding documents beforehand ensures nothing slips through the net."