Every office needs a shredder.

Paper shredders have been around for more than 100 years, but for a long time, they were typically only found in government offices. Today, however, shredders are much more commonplace, and with good reason. Most businesses in this day and age deal with at least some confidential information, which means that most businesses also need a shredder. Here are just a few reasons why your office might need a shredder.

#1. You’ll stay in compliance.

Whether the sensitive information you’re dealing with is the personal information of clients or employees, salary details or medical records, you legally cannot just store it indefinitely or throw it away. You have to dispose of it properly, which means that it has to be shredded. If you don’t, you could open your employees or clients up to identity theft, and your business up to lawsuits, fines and other consequences.

#2. It’s safer than recycling.

There are so many reasons for businesses to go green, but one of the main benefits is how it can enhance your reputation. However, just because paper can be recycled, it doesn’t mean that your confidential information can go straight into the recycling bin. Lots of different individuals have access to that information throughout the recycling process, and the more hands are on something, the more likely that information will be used nefariously. Shredding confidential information is the only way to keep it safe, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t recycle it! Contrary to popular belief, shredded paper can be recycled; you’ll just need to check with your recycling company to ensure that they accept it.

#3. You’ll help to protect business data.

There is lots of business data that doesn’t contain Social Security numbers, birthdays and other confidential information, but that you still wouldn’t to end up in the wrong hands. This could include sales numbers, staffing notes, plans for future development, etc. When you shred sensitive information, you’ll gain the peace of mind in knowing that it’s safe.

#4. It will help you save more space.

If you don’t have a shredder and you’re not careless enough to simply put your sensitive data in the trash, what do you do with it? For most companies, the answer is storage. However, this isn’t an ideal situation, as the paperwork will just keep stacking up, and you’ll need to dedicate more and more of your space to storage, or consider renting outside storage space. Either way, it equates to unnecessary expense. Shredding gives you the chance to safely get rid of documents you no longer need, freeing up more of your space for new employees and new innovations.

#5. You’ll earn the trust of your customers and employees.

From Target to Equifax, many companies have experienced data breaches over the last year or so, and that has seriously compromised the trust of both the customers who utilize their products or services and the employees who work for them. While these breaches have mostly been attacking digital data, it still pays to demonstrate to your employees and customers that you take their personal information seriously, and that you take the appropriate steps to destroy it properly and keep it out of the wrong hands.

What kind of information should you shred?

Now that you know why it’s important to have a shredder in your office, you need to know what information to shred. Tax returns, voided checks, bank statements, pay stubs, photo IDs, credit card applications or statements, employee records and sales receipts are all things that should be shredded. But, as a general rule, you should shred anything that has sensitive information, such as names, phone numbers, addresses or email addresses. If you have questions or concerns about what should or should not be shredded, consult your corporate attorney.

Don’t break the bank buying a shredder.

Shredders are a must in the modern office, but that doesn’t mean that you have to shell out the money to buy one and keep it maintained. At Business Equipment Rentals, we rent out reliable office supplies in New York City, and when you rent from us, you’ll always gain 24-hour support in case the equipment needs maintenance or repairs. Learn more about our office supply rentals online today.