The issue of business documents can bring up a huge range of questions for any company. It is a necessary part of getting things done, but what happens when documents no longer have an immediate use for the business. Storing them means taking up premium office space and holding onto the data can present you with security risks.

Ultimately then, you will need to dispose of documents, but it is vital that you do so in a way that is safe and environmentally friendly. Many businesses choose to shred their documents, but others are concerned that doing so is the wrong idea, mostly due to some of the myths surrounding the practice.

To learn more about document shredding, we spoke to document collection and storage specialists Images Online. They shared with us some of the most common myths they hear about document shredding. Here are five popular misconceptions and the truth behind them.

Myth One: It’s OK To Throw Away

Firstly, it should be addressed that some businesses believe that they do need to have document shredding carried out – that it is fine to simply throw away old document; they are going to landfill after all. But it is a mistake to underestimate the lengths criminals are willing to go to in order to steal from your business. Thieves can easily get access to bins near your building and will be happy to go through bags of old paper to discover key information and personal data. It is even true that if you shred documents yourself, criminals will steal bags in the hope of reconstructing the files. That’s why it is always safer to use a secure document shredding service.

Myth Two: If We Shred, We Lose The Information

It is a myth that when companies shred their paper files they will inevitably lose that data. Clearly, for some businesses, it is vital to hold copies of important information, so these files would need to be kept in a physical location for a significant period of time. Advances in technology have meant that it is now possible to have your documents scanned and saved on a server so that there is no need to hold onto a physical version. This saves you space and can mean that you can feel secure in having your documents shredded without the fear that you are going to lose important data.

Myth Three: Document Shredding Is Too Time-Consuming

Another reason that people tend to avoid shredding is that they believe it will be too time-consuming to spend working hours feeding documents into a shredder. While there is no doubt that it can be a very lengthy task if you try to complete it in-house, this is why it can be valuable to use an outside shredding service who will come to your business and deal with it. It offers real peace of mind to get the task out of the way, so it can definitely be worth paying for the service to be carried out.

Myth Four: My Office Security Is Excellent, So I Don’t Need To Shred

Of course one of the best reasons to shred documents is that it keeps personal data and valuable information from falling into the wrong hands. But many businesses assume that because they trust their staff and believe in their security system, there is no reason to be concerned about potentially losing this kind of documentation. In reality, mistakes can be made no matter how stringent your security procedures are. As the new General Data Protection Regulation comes into force it has never been more important to have complete control over your documents, and this means that you will need to prove that data is destroyed in compliance with the law.

Myth Five: It Is Better To Recycle Than Shred

If you are looking for ways to improve the green credentials of your business you may be more interested in recycling paper rather than shredding. The truth here is that both recycling and shredding are important and can be done in conjunction with one another. Have the documents shredded and then recycled to ensure you are doing the right thing from a green perspective and keeping your business data secure.