In response to the growing need for protection from identity thieves, more and more business machines are being introduced to the market. The increased risk throughout the years has led to more and more people preferring to use shredders in the privacy of their homes. To select the best shredder, it is crucial to understand the options available to make an educated, best-value purchase. We have compiled some information but Delicious are the real experts in paper shredders.
1. Security Levels – when it comes to security, shredding machines are categorized into security levels where the higher the level, the more reduced the end products will be in terms of size. The security levels specified in different paper shredders are based on DIN 32757 standards (established by Deutsches Institut für Normung that translates to the German Institute for Standardization in English), as well as the federal government of the United States. Your choice of security should also depend on the confidentiality of the materials to be disposed of.
- Level 1: Strip Cut – offers the most basic security measure. Documents are cut lengthwise into 7/32” strips. This option provides shredding results that can offer poor information protection.
- Level 2: Cross Cut – provides better security than level 1. With a standard cut size of 5/32” x 2”, shredding results to 300 particles out of a standard 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper. With a cross cut shredder, any file would become extremely difficult to piece together and read.
- Level 3: Micro Cut – ideal for shredding documents at home and small offices, as recommended by experts including New York Times technology writer Sam Grobart. With a standard cut size of 5/64”x5/16”, a micro shredder can turn a sheet of paper into over 3,700 particles.
- Level 4: High Security (Companies)– is government approved and designed for disposing of confidential documents essential to the foundation and existence of a Company. With a 1/32” x 3/16” cut size, a 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper can easily be reduced into 15,000 bits and pieces.
- Level 5: High Security (Government and Research)—with cross cut shred dimensions of 1/32 x 7/16”, this level of security works best for dealing with the destruction of secret documents within government offices as well those containing information on important researches.
- Level 6 – this level offers the highest, most secure protection and is often used in high security eradication of top secret files. With cross cut shred dimensions of 1/32 x 3/16”, paper shredders with this specification is at the top level of security ratings used in the U.S. ranging from 1 to 6.
2. Equipment Performance – When shopping for the right paper shredder for your small office or home needs, there are three crucial performance factors to consider – size and sheet capacity, machine speed, run time, and versatility. The compactness and size of the equipment and how much documents it can handle at a time will depend on how many people will be using the shredder and where it will be placed. Run times refer to the length of time that the machine can operate continuously before needing to cool down. The run time or duty cycle should be based on how long the shredder will be used each day. Machine Speed is the pace with which paper shredders can shred a paper bundle entirely, a specification measured in feet per minute. And lastly, it is essential to look for a shredder that can accommodate all your additional needs. There are shredders specifically manufactured to shred other materials than paper like CDs or DVDs, and even credit cards.
3. More Features – not all shredders are created equal and one factor that sets them apart from another is the set of additional features they have. Beyond the primary technical specifications mentioned above, these features should also be considered:
Jam Proof – the #1 frustration that shredder users experience when shredding documents is paper jams. To address this, look for technologies that can easily reverse if not totally prevent such problems. Anti-jam technologies not only prevents paper jamming and save users from all the inconvenience that such incidence brings, but also ensures a smooth workflow for a faster and more efficient completion of the job.
Ultra Quiet Shredding – for optimal shredding experience, looking for sound minimizing technologies make sense.
Energy Efficient – for more and more professionals and small businesses, energy efficiency has become a must when buying machines and equipment. An energy efficient shredder increases productivity within your home, and sustainability within the community. Energy consumption savings will also equate to monetary savings in the long run.
Safety feature – working with a shredder can become dangerous in the presence of little kids and even danger – prone adults who mindlessly go about their jobs. Built-in safety features can help promote safety even when working with equipment that are meant to destroy documents. These features come in many shapes and forms from specially designed safety covers to something more technologically advanced like sensors that detect hands touching the opening and automatically shut the machine off.
Why You Should Shred Documents
According to a survey conducted by the FTC or Federal Trade Commission, 2016 recorded that a total of 3.7% of the adult population fell victim to identity theft. This equates to a staggering figure of an estimated 8.3 million American consumers, in various states.
Identity theft is among the fastest growing crimes that America faces. Did you know that victims reported that 88% of the personal information collected was stolen from the dumpster? Beyond all the trash, your garbage can be a chock-full of important papers that may reflect some of your most personal information. Dumpster diving thieves can collect pre-approved credit card offers and bills where complete home address, telephone number, email address, bank account information, social security number, employment history and other information can be extracted.
With information becoming a highly valued commodity, the increasing importance of document and credit card shredding has become more prevalent. But aside from making it next to impossible for dumpster divers to plunder and potentially use your information, there are more reasons to get your own paper shredder. Your shredder can be your partner in efficiently clearing up the clutter in your home office and entire home, boosting productivity and creativity. It is also a must to comply with document destruction legislation.
Basically, your small business and home should make it a practice to shred documents to safely dispose of credit card and confidential printed data, as well as prevent identity theft. Your business does not have to be a health institution or a financial company, taking responsibility for managing the proper disposal of confidential documents takes your business and personal life at a higher level with optimal privacy protection.