Why is it so important to have an office paper shredder?

Did you know that every day you may be throwing in the trash valuable information about your company that could be used against you in some way? Many people do not realize why it is important to have a paper shredder in the office and often put confidential data in the wastebasket that even in isolation can be enough in the hands of malicious people.

Ensuring the protection of your information means not just investing in network security or ways to access confidential data. It is necessary to monitor the type of waste that your company produces and, mainly, how this material is disposed of. It is in this context that the paper shredders come into play.

Fragmenting documents: do you really need all this?

Yes, you do. When we talk about data security, we usually only refer to the digital protections that are placed over the most varied types of files. Think of it this way: if a person entered your company today and could have access to your documents, reading them with peace of mind, would that be a good thing or a bad thing?

Surely you must have replied that this is not a good idea, is it? However, when you discard papers that contain confidential information without properly shredding them, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Part of your company’s history, whether it’s the draft of a project or the data from a negotiation with a supplier, will go straight into the trash and, consequently, in the hands of anyone.

How should I shred the papers?

In general terms, we can adopt the following advice: the greater the degree of confidentiality of information, the more fragmented the paper must be. This applies not only to documents, emails or projects, but mainly to bank statements or pages containing personal data of your customers.

The most important thing is that the person who will have access to the papers later will not be able to put the pieces together and retrieve the information, using it against you. It is very common that leaves found in the trash serve as a basis for criminals to commit the most varied types of fraud. So what you need to do is prevent them from having this kind of material on hand.

Fragmentation speed, type of cut and security levels

Yes, there are a number of technical specifications that must be observed when buying a paper shredder. By contacting an office supply store, you will find that the variety of options is wide and, as a result, prices also vary a lot. However, in general, you should pay attention to the following items:

Fragmentation speed

How many leaves do you think will need to be shredded every day?  The capacity of a paper shredder is shown by the maximum number of sheets that can be cut at one time, considering a conventional paper with a weight of 75 grams.

Thus, personal or small models, for example, may not have a cooling system, making it necessary to make short intervals between cuts so that the engine can cool down. In large quantities, choosing the cheapest option can waste considerable time.

Cut type

Regarding the type of cut that these machines are capable of making, there are at least two alternatives: models that cut paper into strips and those that cut into particles. In the case of the first, it is important to note the size of each strip in millimeters. Companies that want a higher level of security in their information should not resort to this model.

Particle-cut paper shredders, on the other hand, make a kind of cross-cut, destroying the paper both horizontally and vertically. Smaller particles make it harder to access original information and, because of that, offer a higher level of security.

security levels

There is an international standard, called DIN 32757-1, which determines the maximum size of strips or particles. This classification is arranged in five levels. 

  • Level 1 – Maximum strip width: 12 mm
  • Level 2 – Maximum strip width: 6 mm
  • Level 3 – Maximum strip width: 2 mm; or maximum fragment size: 4 x 80 mm
  • Level 4 – Maximum fragment size: 2 x 15 mm
  • Level 5 – Maximum fragment size: 0.8 x 13 mm

Choosing your paper shredder

After observing all these specifications, it will certainly be much easier to choose your paper shredder. Even so, within each category, there are several models, from different manufacturers. Therefore, try to observe the purpose of the equipment you are buying. This will give a good indication of which is the best option.

Knowing whether the equipment for shredding paper will be for personal, commercial or departmental use, for example, is already a way to narrow down the options you have. When in doubt, be sure to consult your office supply supplier. They will certainly be able to indicate which option is best suited to your needs.

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