shredding, paper shred, shredding services

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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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!

shredding services, bulk shredding, secure shredding

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,


shredding service, secure waste, paper shred, secure shred

Who are you sharing your business information with?

Data Protection-Who are you sharing your business information with?

Good afternoon everyone!

How many of us leave paper documents on our desks when we leave the office?

At the weekend, myself and Patrick were on a city break in Sweden. It was great to have a break, it will be our last trip away before our baby is here in December. However as a family run business, we never really switch off and are constantly thinking of Data Protection and whilst walking around, we noticed a recurring theme, poor information protection practices!

The office shown in the photo below, had floor to ceiling glass windows, for the passer by to glance in. Each desk had paper documents with names addresses and even prices clearly visible. Although, not all of this information may have been confidential or personal data, it was most defiantly important business data to the company that was being worked on.

data protection fail

To the businesses we work with, we stress that all business information should be considered as confidential, the question to ask is – “Would I give this information to my biggest competitor?” If the answer is no ensure that you are prudent in how the information is handled, shared and indeed disposed of.

Since being back in the North East we have noticed similar sights, particularly on high streets but also in many ground floor office windows. We would urge any business who see traffic pass their windows to take the time to think what information they may be making public, without realizing.

To combat the risk of data breaches, which could lead to fines and reputational damage, the goal for businesses should be to work towards a culture of information security.  Shredding sensitive, personal and confidential documents is a good first step, as is adopting a clear desk policy and we can advise on best practice for both.

Feel free to give me a call on 01388 448 160 if you want any advice at all. I have added below some information on clear desk policies to help.

Have a great day

Natalie (and Bump 🙂 )


What is a clear desk policy (CDP)

A clear desk policy is a corporate directive that specifies how employees should leave their working space (desk) when they leave their office. Most companies who operate a clean desk policy, ask that all staff ensure all desks are clear of papers at the end of each day. This means shredding any documents that are no longer needed, putting them into a secure confidential console/bin or locking them aware in secure storage. This also applies to walls, notice boards and any other office space that may be visible. For example, a cleaner could come into an office and take away a vast amount of confidential information from paper lying around on desks. Today, CDP’s are increasingly being motivated by information security compliance regulations such as ISO 27001 and the Data Protection Act.

Don’t take the risk!



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How much is in house shredding costing you?

Hi Guys,

We hope you have had a great bank holiday week, we have!

I thought today I would share with you a recent discussion I had with a now new customer, who called our office today.

The customer called to enquire about the costs of a secure shredding service in Darlington, where he is based. We took ten minutes to get to know his business and particular requirements. For clarity their office had six staff and two administrators were doing the document shredding in-house on a daily basis.

When we provided our quotation, our customer initially resisted stating he could not justify the increase in costs for something they already have a solution in place for that “doesn’t cost them anything”. I asked politely why I thought he was wrong on this, he obliged and allowed me to explain. As we believe the real cost of the service should be measured in time and not monetarily, if your staff have more time to focus on your customers then your business will benefit.

The conversation went as follows,

Me: “so you have two administrators who shred for you and the other guys in the office when they have time”

Customer: “yes they do all the shredding we need on a daily basis.”

Me: “How long would they spend doing this each day”

Customer: “the shredder is on for around 5 mins at a time and they each take around 2 turns each per day.”

Me: “OK, and do they have to process the documents too, i.e. take out paper clips, poly pockets etc?”

Customer: “just poly pockets, the shredder handles paper clips”

Me: “So they spend another 2 mins getting the documents ready?”

Customer: “Yes, about that”

Me: “OK, Great and could you tell me how much you pay the administrators approx.”

Customer: “£16,000 per year for a 38 hour week”

Me: “Thanks, right just doing some quick calculations:

7 mins x 2 times per day x 5 days = 70 mins

70 mins x 52 weeks = 60.5 hours year on shredding. Each”

Customer: “Never, let me check.”

(He checked and said it’s actually 60.66 hours)

Customer: “So that’s £968.00 per year on wages.”

Me: “Yes, and we quoted you slightly less than this for a regular service that would ensure all paper waste is collected from site”

Customer: “I see what you’re saying”

Me: “More importantly, could you think of anything your administrators, could spend their time doing for a week and a half of the year other than shredding?”

Customer: “Yes, when can you deliver your shred box then?”

We signed the customer up on to a monthly service today and will be delivering their secure console next Tuesday.

Our service allows businesses to be more efficient and competitive, ensuring that your staff are focused on core duties and services so that your business is as efficient as can be.

Have a great day!




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The Document Shredding Process

Hey Guys,   We wanted to try and explain our document shredding and paper recycling process, so we made a video.

It follows our mantra of keeping things simple, we shred and recycle paper documents across the North East.

Our secure shredding process, which is conducted in line with EN15713 (the European Standard for Information Destruction) is available to businesses right across the north east and indeed the UK.

If you want to be sure your information is securely destroyed, give us a call for a no obligation review.

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The Shred Centre gain CHAS Accreditation

Happy Monday everybody!

We are delighted to announce that with the help of our newest team members Stuart and Louise Mackenzie, The Shred Centre have achieved CHAS accreditation.

This accreditation shows that as well as offering secure shredding services across the north east in conjunction with the highest levels of customer service, we can also shout about our commitment to health and safety.

We take health and safety seriously, ensuring that our staff and the businesses we provide secure shredding services to; in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Durham, Newcastle and indeed the whole of the North East, are protected not only in terms of information security but also in terms of safe working practices.

We have in place a robust health and safety policy and communicate this to all of our staff and as a quality service provider, we aim to achieve the highest standards in all areas of our business.

Next on the list – ISO18001!

If your business is looking for a fresh approach to health and safety, we would whole-heartedly recommend the services of Stuart Mackenzie of Health and Safety UK Ltd.

Have a great week!