Top 5 Human Errors That Could Risk a Data Breach 


In today’s digital age, where data breaches and identity thefts are on the rise, safeguarding sensitive information has become a critical concern. While most people are aware of the importance of securing digital data, they often overlook the potential risks associated with physical documents. Human errors can unwittingly expose confidential information, leading to disastrous consequences. In this blog, we will discuss the top five human errors that could risk a data breach and emphasize the significance of using paper shredders, specifically government approved shredders, for confidential document destruction. 

Negligent Document Disposal: 

Improper disposal of sensitive documents is one of the most common human errors that can lead to a data breach. Simply discarding documents in regular trash bins or recycling containers can expose confidential information to unauthorized individuals. To mitigate this risk, it is crucial to adopt secure document disposal practices. Utilizing a government-approved paper shredder is an effective way to ensure the complete destruction of sensitive information before discarding it. 

Lack of Document Retention Policies: 

Without clear document retention policies in place, organizations and individuals may inadvertently retain documents longer than necessary, increasing the likelihood of a data breach. Properly managing document lifecycle, including regular purging of outdated or unnecessary files, is essential. Implementing a document retention policy and utilizing paper shredders for secure disposal can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data. 

Human Error in Document Handling: 

Mishandling confidential documents can pose significant risks. Leaving sensitive information unattended, sharing passwords or access codes carelessly, or failing to properly store and secure physical documents are examples of human errors that can lead to data breaches. Organizations and individuals should prioritize employee training programs that educate staff on proper document handling procedures, emphasizing the importance of confidentiality and the secure storage of sensitive information. 

Lack of Regular Auditing and Compliance: 

Failing to conduct regular audits and ensure compliance with data protection regulations can expose organizations to significant risks. In Ontario, businesses must adhere to provincial privacy laws, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Conducting internal audits, reviewing data security practices, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations are crucial steps to protect against data breaches. Employing government-approved shredders for confidential document destruction is an important aspect of maintaining compliance and safeguarding sensitive information. 

Third-Party Data Sanitization Vendors: 

Introducing third-party vendors inadvertently increases the chain of custody, exposing yourself to a higher risk of data breaches. There have been instances where such vendors have been found selling end-of-life devices, along with the sensitive information stored within them, to unauthorized third parties. 

While there are reputable data sanitization vendors available, the reality is that IT asset disposition (ITAD) vendors can often mishandle, misuse, or misplace drives during transportation, destruction, and disposal. A common thread in data breaches is not only human error but also the improper handling and transportation of drives containing sensitive information. It is possible that businesses lack the necessary in-house equipment or budget to outsource destruction. Thus, we should implement robust precautions and protocols to securely store and protect all data once it reaches its end-of-life. 

Information Security End-of Life Solutions 

Paystation provides cutting-edge equipment for the secure and confidential destruction of documents, aligned with the industry standard. Our range of high-security solutions is specifically designed to ensure the complete eradication of classified and highly sensitive information. With a diverse selection of top-tier NSA listed/CUI and unclassified magnetic media degaussers, IT crushers, and enterprise IT shredders, Paystation offers a secure and compliant solution tailored to your specific requirements. 

Get in touch with us today and our team will assist you in identifying the ideal equipment to meet your institution’s destruction needs. 


Protecting confidential information from data breaches requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both digital and physical security risks. By recognizing and rectifying the top five human errors discussed in this blog, individuals and organizations can significantly reduce the risk of data breaches. Implementing secure document disposal practices, utilizing in-house government-approved shredders for confidential document destruction, establishing robust data protection protocols, and ensuring compliance with privacy regulations are vital steps towards safeguarding sensitive information in today’s data-driven world. 

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