3 Risks Associated with In-House Document Destruction

by | May 15, 2019 | Retention Articles and Information | 0 comments

In our modern age, with fraud and identity theft on the rise, it is increasingly important for businesses to destroy documents correctly and in accordance with document retention laws. While it might be tempting to tackle the task of shredding and destroying documents yourself, there are a few associated costs and risks that could potentially have a negative impact on your business. Here are the three main problems that you should be aware of before you decide to destroy documents in-house.

In-House Destruction is Risky

The main problem with in-house document destruction is that it simply doesn’t get done. Often this is because employees are too busy with their daily tasks to shred documents. Instead of being destroyed, documents with sensitive information end up piling up in storage rooms, garbage, and recycling cans or are left lying around the office in the open. This type of system can result is a data breach that is just waiting to happen. Additionally, a shredded document can be taped back together, revealing sensitive information.


Often, when businesses invest in an office shredder they overlook the additional cost of ongoing maintenance, repair, and replacement cost. In addition to the added cost associated with having a shredder, there is the cost of employees taking time out of their day to pause their work and shred documents. In the event that an organization encounters a data breach, it can ultimately cost an organization a substantial amount in fines and restitution, along with a damaged reputation.

No Certificate of Destruction

A common misconception that many business owners have is that they believe when they shred and destroy documents in-house, it is just as effective as outsourcing this task. When in fact, the opposite is true. When businesses take on the task of destroying documents with sensitive information themselves, they are inadvertently placing their organization at risk of a data breach. Organizations that make the decision to bring document destruction in-house need to take the time to create and implement a document destruction policy for all employees to follow. Many industries require that businesses provide proof that documents were safely destroyed, which can be hard to provide when doing document destruction in-house.

It is important to consider all the risks associated with document retention and destruction to determine the best method for your business. Whatever method you deem best for your organization needs to be accompanied by a retention and destruction policy that can help to protect your business from breaches.

Information Requirements Clearinghouse can assist with any questions or assistance you may need for your record retention needs.

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