The lost art of shredding: Understanding the risks associated with not securely destroying your sensitive information.


All too often does sensitive information like photos, banking details, private contracts, the list goes on, end up in the wrong hands. It appears society has lost the art of shredding.

Imagine the outrageous or perhaps confronting situation you’d be in should the information you hold nearest and dearest be found, stolen and used against you? Or manipulated to give someone the ability to steal your identity? Rob you of your hard earned dollars? Threaten to expose your secrets in exchange for a ransom?

Our security in the digital age is of utmost importance but not only do we leave a digital trail behind everyday, chances are we’re leaving a paper trail behind also.

When was the last time you checked through that pile of documents on your desk? Or flicked through your phone to remove anything damaging? Didn’t save your login details to your online banking or tax portal access? Completely destroyed your computer’s backup?

Not only does the business environment require proper destruction of sensitive documents or company material, but our personal and relationship environment does too!

National Document Shredding Service, founded by Theo St James in the 1990’s, recognises these challenges and pride themselves on understanding the risks associated with not securely destroying sensitive information.

There’s no secret billions of dollars are lost each year from identity theft and corporate espionage. This is why legal frameworks have been put into place to mandate how organisations handle confidential information – these same principles should be applied to our personal lives too!

It’s not only crucial for businesses to handle confidential information properly but the law stipulates under consumer protection laws, medical privacy regulations and rules regarding financial information among others that the security of confidential information MUST be monitored daily.

Significant fines could occur and company or customer information stolen or lost if organisations do not comply with confidentiality regulations.

This could mean the organisation or business you left your corporate job to start could fold in a matter of days if a scandal like this was to happen. Or you could be left with nothing after your bank accounts were swiped for failing to properly destroy login details or your mail.

Destruction of sensitive and confidential material is no easy business. With your fate lying in the hands of how you handle the destruction, it is more often than not best to leave this to the professionals.

National Document Shredding Service started from very humble beginnings in the 1990’s. Mr St James bought a small shredder and offered to shred waste documents on the floor of the Sydney Stock Exchange from the back of his van.

This was the beginning of Theo’s entrepreneur days as the management was so impressed by his work they asked him to shred all secure documents for the whole building.

From the Sydney Stock Exchange to businesses and individuals small and large right around the country, Theo’s sense of market opportunity has been shedding unwanted documents and destroying e-waste ever since.

“My mantra is to give the customers what they want. This is what helped me create my solid client base,” says Mr St James.


“I feel more at home pulling shredding bins off a van than wearing a tie and really enjoy being part of the whole process,”


“Dealing with all aspects of the business can at times be difficult but I’m sharp and hold close to me what is important. I believe my business thrives on giving the customer what they want and ensuring their personal and business information is completely and securely destroyed.”

Theo’s business also looks after our environment. National Document Shredding Service has produced millions of tonnes of shreds that are fed into paper recycling. Documents are cross-shredded and reduced into tiny fragments before being transferred to a paper recycling facility where they will be recycled into new paper products.

Each tonne of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic meters of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy and 7000 gallons of water.

The model also saves time for the SGLBA business community by allowing businesses and homes to retire from their traditional shredder and instead use their precious administration hours more effectively as Theo’s commercial grade shredders destroy in minutes what was previously being destroyed by house-hold and office machines in hours.

Security in the personal lives and businesses of the SGLBA community is guaranteed as the National Document Shredding Service is the leader in secure document disposal and records destruction.

Mr St James believes upholding standards and guaranteeing results has also been a crucial part of his business success.

Theo guarantees the following:

  • Certificate of destruction supplied with each destruction service
  • Deal directly with one person only for all your document shredding needs
  • Witness document destruction at any time
  • Locked on-site security bins hold 100 kilograms of classified documents each, for the most efficient document disposal

“By guaranteeing the customers what they want for peace of mind and delivering on our promises time and time again, I’ve been able to build a successful business,” says Theo.

“I understand how important avoiding information leaks, identity theft, corporate espionage and all other privacy breaches are to society today and really do continue to aspire to make everyone’s lives easier and worry free so they can focus on the things that really matter.”

Ask yourself. How important is your identity and personal life to you?

Theo also believes by identifying customer pain points and servicing these you are able to have a successful business. He understands just how important inclusivity is and thrives by offering his services to everyone no matter how they identify.

For Theo, respecting the privacy of his customers is mandatory. Some of the industries and business groups who use his National Document Shredding Services are the Medical Industry including GP’s, consultants and hospitals, Financial Industry, Banking Industry, Engineering and Design Industry and Property Industry. The Government and Defence Industries also use Theo’s services indicating that proper document destruction of sensitive material is of national importance and a very important but often forgotten about practice in business. 

It’s time to take a stand against identity theft and corporate espionage professionals. The risks associated with a failure to safely destroy sensitive material are too great to forget about.

Here’s Theo’s Top 5 Tips for Minimising your risk of identity theft:

  1. Never click on a random email or text asking for a validation or confirmation of your personal details. And avoid using public computers or wifi to give personal details.
  2. Use passwords that are difficult to guess and make sure they are not the same for every account you use. Change passwords regularly – try setting a monthly reminder in your phone to change your login passwords
  3. Lock your mailbox and professional shred and destroy any documents with personal or sensitive information
  4. Don’t just dispose of your electronic devices that contain secure data and information like computers and mobile phones in any old fashion. Ensure the residual information is removed before the device is wiped and the product is destroyed or recycled. Imagine your memory sticks, photocopiers, credit cards, phones, etc in the wrong hands!
  5. Always follow up when receiving notifications or emails that your social media has been logged into from an unexpected or suspicious location.