What are the security risks of in-office document shredding?

Most businesses will have some sort of sensitive documentation on file that either relates to themselves or contains the data of a customer. It is vital that documents like this do not fall into the wrong hands and so when they are no longer needed, they have to be properly destroyed.

Some businesses are still choosing to do this, without realising that there are some significant security risks in doing so. Here, we take a look at what they are and how to avoid them.

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Equipment issues

We all know that the biggest barrier to carrying out any task is a technical glitch, and document shredders can pose a number of issues. They can fail, jam or overheat when faced with heavy demand, and so documents can be left intact and un-shredded until the equipment is repaired or a new one has been sourced. The longer these documents are left lying around, the greater the risk of them being lost, stolen or copied.

Strip shredding

We tend to assume that shredding is the perfect way to destroy a document, but many office shredders simply cut the paper into vertical strips which can be easily pieced back together, meaning that the process is not as secure as you might think.

The process of cross shredding cuts paper into much smaller pieces that resemble confetti, so it is almost impossible to reconstruct them. Cross shredding is not generally found in office equipment and is usually only available with outside shredding companies who have access to these industrial tools.


Many businesses decide to shred their documents because they believe that this makes them compliant in the eyes of GDPR laws, but this is not actually the case. However, you can be protected by a Certificate of Destruction from a shredding provider, as this is viewed to provide the necessary proof that the documents have been destroyed.

Personnel issues

When you require documentation to be shredded, you will be putting it in the hands of an employee. This requires a high level of trust, but the task is often not put in the hands of the senior people within the company, and so the level of confidentiality that can be expected is limited. It also means that sensitive documents may also be visible to a member of staff who might not normally have that level of clearance.

Disposing of waste

Once you have shredded your documents, you might think that your job is done, but you still need to get rid of the shred waste that you have created. It can be tempting to simply put these into the usual paper recycling bins, but this is not a secure way to dispose of them. It is unlikely that your bins are kept under lock and key, so it is easy for someone to gain access to the waste. As your documents have probably been vertically shredded, they can then be pieced together.

Call in the professionals

It is easy to see why in-office document shredding carries risks, and so it is important to look for an alternative. You can now call on the services of professional document shredding companies, who will deal with everything for you using industrial machines, ensuring that all documents are unrecoverable and disposed of safely and the whole process is carried out with the highest levels of confidentiality, giving you the peace of mind that everything has been dealt with properly.

Disposing of documentation properly is imperative for the security of your business and those who work with it. In-office shredding does not provide the security that you need and so it is important to find a more professional route.

Shred your documents securely with RADS

Here at RADS Storage, we can securely shred any of your unwanted documents, from waste paper, to CD’s and DVD’s. So if you’re interested in our document shredding services, please contact our team.