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What does the SRA Handbook say about confidential information, and how does it relate to secure information destruction ?

hard drive shreddingThe SRA and Confidential Information

sra logoThe SRA Handbook is a document devised by the regulator for solicitors and sets out the standards and requirements that it expects their members to achieve.

The Handbook has a code of conduct that provides a practical guide for the regulated community to follow, this code of conduct is focused on outcomes and seeks to show how the 10 principles that underpin the handbook, apply in practice to the regulated community.

As data protection and information security professionals, Chapter 4 of the code of conduct is of particular interest. This chapter is titled Confidentiality and Disclosure, the opening chapter of which shows how important the regulatory body considers the protection of private information to be:

Protection of confidential information is a fundamental feature of your relationship with clients.”

Two of the five outcomes that this chapter states the regulated community must achieve are;

“O(4.1): You keep the affairs of clients confidential unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents”

“O(4.5) You have effective systems and controls in place to enable you to identify risks to client confidentiality and mitigate those risks.”

The above two outcomes seem entirely logical and glaringly obvious, and many firms have in place robust systems to protect all manner of information whilst it is in use. We feel that when it comes to disposal of information however, the level of risk involved is perceived to have decreased due to the confidential of information being no longer required.

With the level of risk perceived to have decreased, some firms will look to dispose of old files via “paper recyclers” rather than a secure destruction service from data protection professionals. These companies will indeed take up the offer of a “FREE Collection Service” for old PC equipment, rather than opt for a hard drive shredding or destruction service for these information rich pieces of equipment.

We think that more attention needs to be paid to the risk involved at this stage of the lifecycle of confidential information, and so does the SRA Code of Conduct, which states as one of its Indicative Behaviours:

“IB(4.3) you only outsource services when you are satisfied that the provider has taken all appropriate steps to ensure clients’ confidential information will be protected”

In relation to the outsourcing of secure shredding services for regulated firms, we suggest the steps involved should be more than just the verbal assurance of physical destruction of the material that will be collected, and as a minimum the firm should receive;

  • Signed Contract agreement for collectionchecklist
  • Method statement for destruction procedure
  • Written information destruction policy
  • Signed confidentially / non-disclosure agreement
  • Signed destruction certificate
  • Signed, dated and timed Waste transfer note at time of collection
  • Offer to inspect destruction facility
  • Record of serial numbers destroyed (hard disks/weee)
  • Confirmation of Destruction to EN15713 (European Standard for information destruction)

These minimum levels provide clarity for both parties and ensure that the destruction process undertaken is done so in line with the appropriate security measures in place. In addition to satisfying the Outcomes mentioned previously, this level of information helps satisfy the principle seven of the Data Protection Act 1998, which states businesses must ensure;

“Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.”

For complete compliance it is essential that firms and practices have robust, secure, documented and auditable systems in place for the protection of data during the disposal cycle.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss implementing a secure data protection system yourself please do not hesitate to call us on 01388 448 160.

Have a great day.




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What’s happening here at The Shred Centre?

Our March newsletter has just been published. To find out what’s happening this month at The Shred Centre, follow the link below.

Happy reading and have a great weekend everyone!


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Data Privacy News – Does Facebook Policy Violates European Law

Facebook’s Privacy Policy violates European Law.

As a frequent Facebook user and information security professional, I am concerned about how my information from social media and all other data collected on me is being used, and who it is getting sold to. This recent article from The Guardian website states Facebook does not comply with EU law on private information and the sharing of individuals’ information.

Facebook do not make it clear for any normal user to find out how their information is being used and Considering that this has been a issue first raised in 2013, I find it disconcerting that Facebook has not worked harder on these issues to in order to fully comply with EU law.  Could their reluctance to make it easier to opt out be anything to do with their advertising revenue?

There is a opt out option, but it is difficult to find – we thought we would help by posting a step by step guide below so that you can choose to opt out;


Log into your Facebook profile from your Web browser and then go to settings then click on Ads and under Website and Mobile App Custom Audiences click on Opt out. The next page you’re taken to features an Opt Out button front and centre, simply click it and the Submit button in the resulting pop-up box.


Android users will need to search for the Google Settings app, tap on Ads, and check the
“Opt out of interest-based ads” option.


If you’re using a iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, launch the Settings app on your device. Then tap on Privacy, scroll down to Advertising and turn on Limit Ad Tracking.

facebook privacy android opt out iphone privacy

Once you’ve followed these steps for all of your devices, Facebook will not be able to target you using its new techniques, and although interest-based ads aren’t all that important to some, it’s nice to know that there are ways around what is seen as invasion of privacy by others.

For more on the main article, please follow the link.

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Customer with Regular shredding service in Sunderland – Wins Draw!

This Tuesday, the customer who won has a regular shredding service in Sunderland. For those that aren’t aware, back in November we started Chocolate Tuesdays. On the last Tuesday of every month we draw a winner. To enter the draw you must be a shredding customer with a regular shredding service from us.



Congratulations, your chocolates will be with you on your next visit!

If you are a businesses requiring a regular shredding service in sunderland then please get in touch with us by clicking the link below.

Have a great week!

Regular Shredding Service in Sunderland

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shredding paper, ID theft, shred documents

Identity Theft – Yes it could happen to you!

Identity Fraud – what is it?

Identity theft is when your personal details are stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud. 

47% of all frauds recorded in 2010 were identity frauds – approx 100,000 cases – FACT 

Below are some helpful tips on how to protect yourself and prevent ID fraud.

1. Only carry debit/credit cards that you need – how many of us carry all cards in our purse/wallet. Imagine losing your purse/wallet and how much personal information it contains?

  1. Maintain a minimum of credit cards if possible.  Minimise the amount of information criminals can steal.
  2. Keep PIN numbers safe – never carry your pin number in your purse or with your credit cards. Never use a PIN that is your date of birth, telephone number, year of birth etc as with some additional information, a fraudster could easily work this one out.
  3. When you purchase retail goods, always pay attention to the sales person dealing with the transaction. Never lose sight of your card as this is how fraudsters take copies and clone cards.
  4. Keep details of all bank accounts, credit card numbers etc safe at home, along with the fraud departments phone number. That way, if you lose a card, you can cancel it very easily and quickly.
  5. Never reveal your PIN number to anyone and always keep it covered when entering it at cash machines or retail shops.
  6. Never put your bank statements or credit card statements in the bin. Always ensure these are shredded securely.
  7. Avoid opening any emails from senders you do not recognise. This is one way fraudsters try to access your personal information and hack your laptop or computer.
  8. When purchasing goods online, ensure the website payment facility is secure. Never enter your personal details into a website that is unsecure.
  9. When asked if you would approve your details being passed on to other companies, say no. You never know what information is being passed on and who to.
  10. Ask companies to remove all information held about you, for example credit searches and companies such as Experian. This will limit the amount of credit you are approved for and therefore if a fraudster tried to steal your identity, they would be limited. Also, when receiving credit card offers in the post, never bin these. Always dispose of them securely as it only takes one person to find this in your bin and apply for a credit card in your name.

ID Fraud is on the rise in the UK. Please keep your personal information safe.

For more information on our secure shredding services, please call us on 01388 448160 or email us at


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It could be you…

And the winner is…

The December Chocolate Tuesday draw was held on Tuesday 23rd December 2014.

Another one of our secure shredding service customers in Stockton, has won last month’s chocolate Tuesday draw. Well done to ENDEAVOUR PARTNERSHIP! 

Your chocolates will be delivered on your next service.

To find out more about our secure shredding services, contact us today on 01388 448160. Next month it could be you!

Happy New Year!

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Archive storage and Data Protection – what’s the risk?

Do you keep confidential documents and archiving in a storage room? Did you know that under Principle 5 of the Data Protection Act 1998, there is an obligation for businesses to not keep or store personal client data for longer than is reasonably necessary.

Last week, we carried out an archive box shredding clearance for a client. The above photo shows the room at the start of the clearance. There is a tendency to store these in an archive storage room somewhere on site, to ensure they are retained for the appropriate periods.

Every business has an obligation not to keep personal data longer than is reasonably necessary, so it is important that companies have a regular destruction program in place, ensuring archived data is destroyed at regular intervals. We know it is so easy to let archived material build up, generally until space becomes an issue. It is important for businesses to realise however that the space is not the main issue, there are two more pressing concerns that should be considered.

With large volumes of documents being stored past there required destruction dates, the task of information management becomes more complex. Put simply, the more data you have stored, the more complex it is to adequately manage this information and the more likely you are to have a data breach.

The Data Protection Act 1998 places an obligation on businesses holding personal data to ensure that “Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes.”. If your business is storing data via in house archiving, it is important that you have a process in place to ensure you satisfy this requirement of the Data Protection Act 1998. This requirement is enshrined under principle 5 of the Act.

While space is often the practical reason for wanting a secure clearance service from a shredding company such as us, it is actually security and
compliance breaches that have the potential to cause the greatest impact to businesses operations and indeed their profitability. The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has the power to issue fines of up to £500,000 to businesses who breach the act and the average cost of a data breach has been shown to be over £2,000,000.

Here at The Shred Centre we can offer an archiving coding system for those companies who archive internally and combine this with an bi-annual destruction program for archived material that is no longer required. The system we use is simple and effective and has been applied to a number of organisations across all sectors.

Contact us today on 01388 448160 for more information. We can also offer a free site survey and no obligation quotation.

For more information on Principle 5 and The Data Protection Act 1998 click here


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A shredding service where everyone’s a winner!

Good morning everyone!

Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend and looking forward to Christmas! Last month we introduced ‘Chocolate Tuesdays’, a prize draw on the last Tuesday of the month. All contracted shredding service customers are entered into the draw every month to win a box of chocolates.

October saw Evans & Co, Spennymoor winning the draw and their chocolates went down well in the busy office. This month’s draw took place on Tuesday 25th November.

And the November winner is…

ALL contracted shredding service customers. Yes, that’s correct. This month, all of our customers are winners and a box of chocolates for every customer will be on the way very soon. This month, arriving 10 days early, we welcomed our first child and daughter into the world and of course, into the family run business here at The Shred Centre. We wanted our customers to join in our celebrations and thought why not make everyone a winner.  Chocolates will be delivered next week and the little lady may even make an appearance herself.

If you would be interested in our contracted shredding services, please contact us on 01388 448160 or alternatively email us on or

The December draw will take place on Tuesday 23rd, due to the office being closed on the 30th for the festive period. Will you be our next winner?

Enjoy the rest of the weekend,

Natalie & Patrick



secure shredding, confidential waste, document shred, document destruction

Helping to protect YOUR identity – Home shredding in Darlington

Good afternoon,

Hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed bonfire night and the fireworks 🙂

Here at the Shred Centre, we had a very successful week, with lots of happy customers. In particular we provided a home shredding service in Darlington, to customers interested in protecting their personal identity and preventing ID Fraud by adopting a home shredding service from a reputable company.

Our home shredding clients were very impressed with the ease of the service. We provided a next day home shredding service to one customer. She was managing the estate of an elderly relative,  and wanted a reliable, secure, and timely service to dispose of all of the paperwork left behind. As always, we were happy to help and told her all about our home shredding service in Darlington. Once we assured her how secure and easy our home shredding process is, we scheduled in the collection and advised of an approximate time of arrival on the collection day. The collection went ahead and all materials were collected on our home shredding route and destroyed the same day at our secure shredding facility.

As per our commercial shredding services, our home shredding clients are issued with a contract copy, a waste transfer note, a destruction certificate and an invoice via email as standard, which ensures that all of our home shredding customers have a clear audit trail outlining their efforts in regards to the secure destruction of personal documents.

After the service was completed, our quality assurance team called our home shredding customer find our what they thought of our service.  Our customer was very happy and when we asked if they would recommend us to a friend we were told “I have been recommending your service to all of my neighbours. You saved me so much time,  I couldn’t imagine how long I would have been at home shredding all that paper work.”

Unlike most other shredding companies we are more than happy to help residential customers through our home shredding service and there is no amount of personal data too small for us. We care about reducing ID Fraud and protecting privacy.

How many of us have bills and junk mail come through the door, which end up in the recycling bin and is now collected every 2 weeks by most councils. This is not secure and puts you at risk of identity theft. Any document that contains personal information, should be treated as confidential waste. Even junk mail contains your full name, address and postcode. With a few more details, a fraudster will have everything they need to create a new identity from your personal information. We can eliminate this risk for you through our home shredding service. We can supply a confidential waste sack, which you can use to store your confidential documents at home. Once full, you can call us and request a secure collection and we collect your sack and take it away for shredding and secure destruction.

Our service is simple, good value for money and ensures you and your identity are protected at all times!

Enjoy the rest of the week,


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The Shred Centre team’s peak performance !

The Stats:

Ben Nevis – 1343m

Scafell Pike – 978m

Snowdon – 1085m

Total ascent: 9700 feet/2957m

Total distance: 26 miles

Total duration: 24 hour target

the shred centre shredding services reach uk peaks

I joined The Shred Centre team in May and by June, we had already set ourselves a challenge, a big challenge! The National 3 peaks challenge to be precise. We decided that we would complete this challenge in aid of a worthwhile, local charity. As a local business we were keen to support a local charity that supports local people in our area. Durham County Carers was our chosen Charity and they were delighted that we had decided to support and raise money for them.

Now the fun started, the training and fundraising! Let’s just say, the fundraising went a little bit better than the training! We set up a just giving page, allowing people to donate online and we also worked with Durham County Carers, supporting them on an information stand and selling second hand books in our local supermarket. It was great to be able to interact with the public to help DCCS sign up new carers and therefore helping the local community. It was nice knowing that there were so many people in the local area, supporting us and spurring us on!

13th September 2014 – The day had arrived and it came quicker than we expected!

05:30am – We make our way to the mini bus, which will be our home for the next 24 hours!

  • Start / Finish: Glen Nevis YHA
  • Ascent: 4350 feet
  • Target time: Ascent: 2.5 – 3 hour / Descent: 2 – 2.5 hours

1:30pm – We arrive in Scotland and make our way to our first mountain, Ben Nevis, which will later become our enemy! With our bags packed, water bottles filled, it was time to make our way up to the peak of Ben Nevis. It is warm and muggy but we are full of energy and positivity; we are ready for this. We finally reach the half way point, which seemed to be never ending and extremely tiring! Reality has hit us as to just hard this challenge is going to be but we will get each other through it.  Maybe we should have prepared ourselves a little more with a little more training… isn’t hindsight and wonderful thing. We are half way up Ben Nevis and we can’t turn around now. We carry on and finally make it to the top. The views were just spectacular and it made the walk and struggle all the more worthwhile.  We need to complete the challenge in 24 hours, which means no time to stop and take a rest and it was straight back down. Going down Ben Nevis was a little tricky but we did it! 7 hours passed and we made it back to the mini bus. Feet, knees and legs tired, aching and sore but we made it! We drive to the second peak…


  • Start Point: Wasdale NT Campsite
  • Distance: From Wasdale 7.5km
  • Total ascent: 906 metres
  • Via Wasdale : Ascent: 2 hours / Descent: 1.5 hours

1:00am – We make it to Scarfell pike. Tired and worn out from the long drive and lack of sleep. We get our bags out ready, head torches on and we set off to climb the highest mountain in England but the smallest out of the 3. Scarfell Pike is located in a commanding position in the Central Lakeland Fells and stands at 978metres / 3209 ft with superb 360 degree views. Unfortunately with it being 3:30am and pitch black when we reached the summit, we were not awarded with these views. As part of our training, we climbed Scarfell Pike during the day but walking in the dark was a different story.

4:30am – The team make it back to the mini bus, completely worn out and broken.  However, spirits are a little higher, as we know we will be making our way to the last mountain, meaning we are more than half way through our challenge. The dreaded drive to Wales is going to be a killer! It’s good job we are all tired and just want to sleep. We set off for the 4 hour and 37 minute drive to Snowdon.

Start / Finish: Pen-y-Pass or Llanberis

Ascent: 2381 feet via Pen-y-Pass

Target time: Ascent: 2 hours / Descent: 2 hours

Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, is 3,560 feet high, and is by far the easiest of the 3 peaks. Located in Snowdonia National Park, Snowdon is the highest mountain south of the Scottish Highland and is probably the busiest mountain in Britain.

1:00pm – We have made it Snowdon! This is it, we have nearly completed our challenge. The walk up to the top of Snowdon was hard, as our bodies were aching, tired and so sore but we had to soldier on. We reach the top, welcomed by freezing cold winds but we didn’t care, we had made it! The walk down from Snowdon was the worst, as it seemed to be never ending and as we reached each corner, we hoped it would be the end but it wasn’t. Walking back, lost in our own thoughts, we are dragging our feet along to the finish line… And there it is, the finish line, the line that seemed like it would never be seen, there it was! Then it was a quick dash to the local pub to celebrate our hard work. After all, we did deserve it! We are all happy and full of smiles, our feet and legs on the other hand, they were broken! Now we have to look forward to the long drive back home, BUT, this time it was the drive home. Our feet and body longed for a hot soak in a bubble bath!

We made it! We completed the 3 peaks challenge in under 24 hours, with 15 minutes to spare and the best part is, we managed to raise over a £1,100 for a local charity. The work that Durham County Carers Support do and the exceptional service they provide to the local community, really did help us get through the challenge. An amazing achievement for all of us. The pain, sore feet, legs and tiredness was all worth  it!

The Shred Centre’s 3 Peaks Challenge 2014 completed – 13th to 14th September 2014.


shredding company raises funds for charity


We are now looking at our next challenge for 2015 – Bring it on!

Have a great week everyone J











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