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The Difference Between On-Site vs Off-Site Paper Shredding

March 08, 2021

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If you’re a Data Protection Officer, Security Representative or otherwise involved in protecting your company’s or client’s confidential information, you may have heard about on-site and off-site document shredding and wondered about their differences.

For starters, let’s look at the differences in the names of the services. On-site and off-site shredding services are both document shredding options. In basic terms, on-site shredding refers to the shredding of confidential documents at your place of business, using a truck equipped with a mobile document shredding system.

Off-site shredding refers to shredding your sensitive documents at a secure shredding facility operated by your document shredding service.

Both on-site and off-site shredding services can be regularly scheduled paper shredding services, or on-demand, one-time shredding services.  

Regardless of which service you choose, the only way to know that the sensitive information on your documents has been irretrievably destroyed is to get a Certificate of Destruction. It is your only assurance that the documents have been shredded to NAID-certified standards.

But that’s where the similarities between the on-site vs off-site paper shredding end.

On-Site vs Off-Site: What’s the Difference?

Choosing between on-site and off-site paper shredding can depend on many factors. These include your company’s data security policies, budgets, and amount of shredding required. 

One-Time or Regularly Scheduled On-Site Shredding

Your documents are collected by the shredding service representatives from your paper receptacles. They are taken to a truck located on your premises for immediate destruction. You get a Certificate of Destruction.

The main advantage of on-site shredding is that your information never leaves your premises intact. 

One-Time or Regularly Scheduled Off-Site Shredding

Your documents are collected by the shredding service representatives from your paper receptacles. They are transported to an off-site location for same-day destruction. You are given a Certificate of Destruction when the documents are removed, guaranteeing that your documents will be destroyed that day. 

The main advantage of off-site shredding is that it is somewhat more cost-effective.

To learn more about data protection, check out our post “3 Things To Do to Protect Data Before Reopening Your Office”.

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