In response to the highly publicized use of shredded private information as confetti in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) is reminding businesses that discarded shredded material is a security risk.
“We’ve known for decades that shredded materials can be reconstructed,” said NAID CEO Robert Johnson. “Now, however, given the processing power of computers and high-speed scanning equipment, it has been shown that reconstructing even the smallest shreds is a real possibility.”
“We have a saying in our business,” added Johnson. “When you put shredded paper in the trash, you have only shown the bad guys what to take.”
As a more secure alternative, NAID suggests outsourcing information destruction to a qualified service provider, a method that has grown in popularity amid rising concerns over privacy and identity theft. NAID currently represents approximately 2,000 data destruction service providers, which represents a 1,000 percent increase over the past 10 years.
“The growth in popularity of outsourcing data destruction is perfectly understandable,” said NAID President Scott Fasken, owner of Colorado Document Security in Grand Junction, Colo. “Using a qualified data destruction service provider is not only more convenient and economical than in-house shredding, it is also more secure.”
Fasken points to the fact that service providers shred in massive volumes, which are mixed with the documents of hundreds of other customers and ultimately recycled after the destruction process. This effectively eliminates the possibility that anyone could gain access to the shredded documents.