The Risks of the Ready-to-Shred Slush Pile

shredder slush pile

Many busy offices may not shred daily. In fact, Fellowes consumer research shows that as much 30% of offices still shred only a few times a week rather than everyday, which means confidential documents are accumulating in a ready-to-shred slush pile. When you consider that 43% of data losses were directly accountable to internal factors, ranging from disgruntled employees to corporate spies, the unattended slush pile becomes an overlooked risk.

Slush Pile Solutions

An office of any size can still manage a daily shredding policy without compromising productivity. Using an automatic shredder, makes the process easy.

Automatic shredders can handle loads of shredding all at once hands-free, eliminating the need for hand-feeding documents into the machine. This is the most common cause of the slush pile, as papers are typically set aside for a time when an office employee can handle a large shredding task.

Some models of automatic shredders feature scheduled shredding options, allowing automatic shredding to be done after business hours on a daily basis. Piles of confidential documents left exposed overnight are vulnerable to identity thieves who often take jobs with cleaning crews for the very purpose of gaining access to these documents.

Automatic Shredding-Not Just for the Big Corporate Office

Add automatic shredders to a small business as well. With the 130C  automatic shredder, small offices can also improve productivity and eliminate the risk of the ready-to-shred slush pile.

Why Accountants Need To Review Their Shredder Policy During Tax Season

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Digital identity theft is the primary concern for most business professionals, including accountants. Yet during tax time, strategic dumpster diving is a common technique used by identity thieves. Focused on dumpsters behind office buildings where accountants and tax preparers conduct business, identity thieves rely on the hectic busy season to create lapses in document-based identity theft prevention.

Shredding Policy Basics

  1. Ensure all employees know what documents must be shredded. Create a list of key documents as reference for all employees.
  2. Shred all documents during working hours. Avoid leaving slush piles of paper to shred while not in the office. Cleaning crews may accidentally toss these papers if they appear as trash.
  3. Ensure shredder bins are emptied regularly. When employees are busy, full shredder bins often lead to documents being set aside to be shredded later, only to be discarded as regular trash.

Choosing a Shredder for an Accounting Office

Select a paper shredder that accommodates the size of the office.  Large, commercial shredders are ideal for any size shared office as they require less frequent emptying. Small office shredders placed by employee desks work well too. Automatic shredding is the latest in shredder technology and allows documents to be safely destroyed even after office hours with computerized settings. Learn more about Automatic Shredding

Make sure to use cross-cut shredders. Strip cut shredders are okay for households, but do not provide adequate document destruction for businesses. Cross-cut shredders grind documents into 5/32” x 1-1/2” cross-cut particles.(Security Level P-4).  For greater peace of mind, consider a micro-cut shredder.

Learn more about shredding security levels

Lax  Tax Document Destruction in the News

 

The Best Shredders For a Tax Time Paper Purge

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A year end paper purge is the perfect time to think about getting a new shredder. If you allowed that slush pile of old and irrelevant files to become a monumental heap, then your current paper shredder may not be up to the daunting task.

Four Shredder Upgrades That Will Make a Happier New Year

  1. Greater Run Time Shredder

Your smaller, occasional use personal shredder is designed for shredding the daily junk mail, not three years of obsolete records. Your old shredder may overheat and frequent breaks will be required for cooldowns. Shredding could take days!

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Get a shredder with longer run time so you can shred more and shred longer. This one runs for 30 minutes!

2. Go Automatic

So little time, so much to shred. Standing over your old shredder feeding papers into it seems like a waste of a day.

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Get an automatic shredder and save time. Simply load the drawer, push the button and walk away.

 

3.  A Quieter Paper Shredder

If you’re intent on a major de-clutter of your home office, you may be shredding into the wee hours of the night. That old shredder isn’t getting any quieter.

 

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Get a shredder with silent performance features so you can shred all night without waking the family.

   4A Safer Paper Shredder

Weekends, snow days and kids home sick means your home office may be over run with little ones. You may have to delay your shredding tasks as your old shredder simply isn’t safe to operate around the kids.

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Get a shredder with safety features so you can keep shredding with  peace of mind.

Last Minute Deductions for Your Business

 

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As the new year approaches, it’s a good time to review any office needs so you can add those deductions as business expenses. Here are some suggestions to improve productivity for your workplace while saving money during tax season.

Upgrading Your Office Shredder

Have you noticed that you can’t make a phone call while shredding because it’s so noisy, or perhaps you are constantly tearing jammed paper from the shredder’s jaws. Or when emptying the shredder bin, you notice that the paper isn’t quite shredded, more half-eaten? These are all signs that it is time for a new office shredder.  Upgrade to an office shredder that is jam proof, quiet and sure to turn documents to dust before 2017 starts. Shredder tax deductions.

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Adding New Business Machines to the Office

Every time there is an important presentation and you need fifty bound PowerPoints, your first thought is usually that this is an occasional need so you might as well just take the project to your local print shop for binding. If you find yourself saying this often, then you may be throwing money away on expensive outsourced binding costs when you can do it quickly and easily yourself.

Pick out a reasonably priced binding machine and create impressive presentations for every big meeting. Plus, it’s an easy business write-off. Binding Machine tax deductions.

comb binding for business

The same goes for those pesky laminating tasks you sometimes need. If you calculated all the costs accrued every time when you needed laminated handouts for an event or laminated badges for a trade show, you would realize how much you would save with the minor cost of an office laminating machine, which is tax deductible. Laminating Machine tax deductions.

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Flexible Storage Solutions

Bankers Box tax deduction

As your business grows, so does the amount of paper records you may have to store. Your initial consideration may be metal filing cabinets, which are bulky and take up a lot of space. But more importantly steel cabinets aren’t flexible, offering solid but rigid records storage.

With Bankers Box file boxes, you can easily add more boxes as your business grows, move them to back rooms or easily take them to outside storage units without a lot of fuss. As some of your files get outdated, you can easily discard unneeded boxes. The perfect storage solution for any small business and an ideal deductible business cost: Bankers Box Tax Deductions.

New Fellowes Brands® Patent Takes Automatic Shredding to the Next Level

Fellowes Brands®  has been granted a patent protecting its unique auto feed shredder technology which improves the automatic paper delivery process for hands-free shredding. The innovation covered by the patent allows for smoother, faster, more reliable processing of paper toward the cutters. This adds to the expansive Fellowes patent portfolio, including more than 50 shredder utility and design issued patents and numerous patent applications.

As a leader and innovator in the shredder category, The Fellowes AutoMax™ line has already been highly successful with the business sector, companies both large and small, who have learned that the automated shredding capabilities of AutoMax are more efficient and contribute to greater productivity in their workplace. One law office user commented: “Very quiet and efficient. Not to mention that it shreds everything with a touch of a button. We had used several other shredders at the office and this one is bar none the best at the price point and for its ease of use. “Others have emphasized the “handsfree” performance.” I had so much shredding it seemed liked a nightmare, standing and feeding a shredder. Now I fill the bin and walk away.” The introduction of this advanced technology will continue to broaden a customer base seeking progressive time-saving approaches to shredding. The new patented circular disk technology is available on the small office/home office auto feed shredders, the AutoMax 130C, 150C and 200C.

Santa’s Workshop Increases Productivity for Holiday Season

 

Santa's management strategy

As the Christmas season grows more demanding each year, Santa’s Workshop strives to continually improve efficiency and productivity. New products have been introduced to minimize fatigue and injury in the workshop, as well as streamline the operation overall.

Elves Turn to Ergonomics for Admin Duties

“With a lot of toys, comes a lot of data,” says Santa. “All that information has to be processed.”  In the administrative offices of the workshop, elves complained of back pain, wrist pain and neck strain, leading to lost productivity and days out of the workshop recovering. Santa implemented company-wide back rests for all admin elves as well as the latest in office keyboard managers to reduce incidents of wrist pain.  Also the latest and greatest monitor arms put screens at the proper height and distance from elves to make computing duties easier.

Improving Workshop Air Quality Concerns

“Elves aren’t immune to colds and flu, and being at the North Pole doesn’t help,” Santa indicated. He implemented a commercial air purification system to keep the workshop free of airborne germs. The system features a true HEPA filter, which  captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants including viruses and allergens. The activated carbon filter also reduces odors, which is helpful for those elves stationed near the reindeer stables.

Archiving Past Holidays-Storing Records On-Site at North Pole

As a global one-night only distributor, Santa found reviewing past performance crucial for future productivity. Storing all past archives off-site led to long delays in records retrieval, “especially when you are headquartered at the North Pole,” indicates Santa. “It got to the point where we were just stuffing records in stockings and toy chests. That’s no good.” Converting to on-site archiving reduced costs and made records readily available for review.

Naughty List Record Destruction

Santa’s Naughty & Nice spreadsheet is an ever-changing dynamic.  “Those who were once naughty and now are nice don’t deserve that bad record following them around.” Santa explains.  “We keep auto feed shredders at every list review station for maximum identity theft protection. Because they are automatic, productivity is increased as the elves spend less time shredding and more time making toys.”

Why Some Small Businesses Use Big Shredders

best size paper shredder

 

When we think of commercial shredders we typically think of large offices, lots of employees and lots of shredding. Small businesses have their own size shredders of course, smaller deskside versions that are more suitable for smaller work environments. However, in a recent survey conducted by Fellowes to better understand customer needs, it was discovered that many smaller business customers with less than ten employees were upsizing to the larger commercial machines. Here are some reasons why.

Long-Term Productivity Over Short Term Savings

Though commercial shredders cost more, they make up for their expense with enhancements to productivity.

Smaller shredders require more frequent emptying. The larger bin capacity of a commercial machine means less time spent disposing of shredded paper.

Larger machines have higher sheet capacities and longer run times, making shredding more efficient overall. If shredding is a consistent part of a business day such as a law office or mortgage company. even for a small office, this makes a commercial shredder a worthy investment.

More Prominent Reminder of Document Destruction Policies

Many small businesses who handle confidential customer information have found it necessary to establish a formal document destruction policy to prevent liability, a measure typically taken  by large corporate offices. Small deskside shredders tucked away under desks, make it easier for employees to neglect the policy. The presence of a large commercial shredder with a document destruction policy posted on the wall above offers a continuous reminder to employees to shred sensitive documents.

More Efficient During Document Purges

Some businesses may not shred constantly day in and day out, but may destroy documents on designated days of the week or during key periods of their business cycle. In these instances, even though it is used less, a larger commercial shredder is more efficient at destroying large quantities of documents during a purge. In some instances selecting automatic shredders makes this purge process even easier.

Micro Cut Shredder Recommended by Former Con Man

 

99ms-microcutshredderFamed former con man Frank Abagnale, as depicted by Leonardo DiCaprio in the film Catch Me If You Can now offers his talents for good, helping others avoid becoming victims of identity theft. Abagnale states that he shreds everything with a micro-cut shredder, “even if it’s worthless.”

Why Micro-Cut Shredders Are Important

  • Micro Cut Shredders take shredding to the next level, basically turning documents to dust with 10x smaller shreds.
  • Smaller shreds also means less frequent emptying of the waste bin. A micro cut shredder bin holds 80% more Micro-Cut particles per gallon than standard Cross-Cut.

Selecting A Micro-Cut Shredder for the Office

The best micro-cut shredder for a small office or home office can shred 14 sheets per pass into 5/64”x 9/16” micro-cut particles (Security Level P-5)

The best micro-cut shredder for larger offices shreds 14 sheets per pass into 5/64” x 15/32” Micro-Cut particles (Security Level P-5) and features continuous duty motor offers non-stop shredding.

Learn more about what Abagnale says about shredders: paper shredding advice from Abagnale

“Every FBI office in the US uses a micro-cut shredder.”

 

Why Businesses Are Upgrading to Automatic Shredders

With government regulations demanding compliance with identity protection guidelines and an increase in high volume shredding, companies are seeking new ways to improve productivity of the shredding process with automatic paper shredders.

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Many businesses choose off-site shredding companies as a convenient solution. However with this hands-off service, comes a few drawbacks including high prices and a risk of exposing confidential information to an external vendor.

Many businesses instead are using automatic on-site shredding. The single cost purchase of an automatic high volume shredder provides long-term shredding without the hefty service fees of shredding services. And an on-site commercial shredder keeps all confidential information in the office.

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Most importantly, auto feed paper shredders also provide a hands-free experience. Users simply load the bin, push the button and walk away. From a productivity standpoint, this means employees spend less time shredding and more time on other more important tasks. Another important feature are safety locks, which prevents the shredder from being opened after it begins the shredding process, so confidential documents remain safe until completely destroyed.

Automatic shredding also allows the shredding process to occur in a timely manner, eliminating the risky build-up of confidential documents waiting to be destroyed, making confidential shredding an important perk of automatic machines.

The value of automatic shredding spans across many industries that handle sensitive materials.

Healthcare

Medical clinics and hospitals can quickly destroy reams of sensitive patient information as medical records clerks purge old files in less time.

Law

Law clerks find automatic shredding useful for past client records or destroying the duplicate paperwork of a long case.

Finance

Accountants use automatic shredding to maintain a consistent storage and destruction cycle for business records. Large quantities of sensitive documents  are usually in immediate need of shredding, and the process can take accounting clerks weeks to properly dispatch such paperwork.

Real Estate and Mortgage

Credit apps from home buyers quickly pile up on a realtor’s desk, unfortunately a desk often left unattended while showing homes. Automatic shredding saves real estate companies time by allowing these documents, which often contain social security numbers, bank account numbers and driver’s license information, to be quickly shredded without delay.

The Shared Workspace and the Noisy Shredder

imagesWhen you work in a small office, there are compromises. Probably the most annoying is a loud shredder. There is no separate shredding room of course, that would be a luxury. Instead the paper shredder is most likely somewhere in between the water cooler and the coffee station. This means that someone will inevitably start shredding while you are on the phone with a client, leading to flailing arms and the mouthed words, “turn that thing off!”  Or someone starts shredding while you are having a meeting, leading to a collective sigh and someone volunteering to tell the shredding perpetrator, as tactfully as possible, “not right now.”

Eventually someone will get fed up, whether it’s the boss and CEO (who has the little office next to the bathroom) or the admin or can’t get anything done while that obnoxious shredder rattles on all day and decides to take administrative action. This means putting up a laminated sign outlining rules of shredding conduct. Making statements like:

Please determine if a meeting is in session before shredding, or have the courtesy to not shred when others are on the phone.

But signs don’t solve the problem, and when records rooms need to be purged after tax time and a piles of paper starts taking up space around the shredder to the point where you have bob and weave around canceled FTP proposal forms just to get your lunch out of the mini fridge.  Now the complaint will be. “Who is supposed to be shredding all this?”

The poor intern of course will shrug and point to the laminated sign, indicated that meetings and phone calls have interrupted the unwanted but critical shredding process.
A Quieter Shredder Solution.

Select a shredder with quiet performance features, specifically designed for the small office.

Here are some options:

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The 79CI Cross Cut Shredder not only features whisper quiet SilentSense to return peace and quiet to your tiny workplace, it also features 100% jam proof shredding.

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Also consider the 90S Strip Cut Paper Shredder. This robust small office shredder, also with quiet performance, destroys documents for up to 25 minutes before requiring a cool down.

For higher security needs, the 99MS micro-cut paper shredder shreds paper 5x smaller than cross cut shredders, and does so quietly.