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What should I consider when choosing a shredder for my office?

Jeff McRitchie posted this on Jul 2, 2015

Data security is a huge concern for most organizations these days. Even the thought of client data and sensitive credit information slipping into the wrong hands is enough to make small business owners cringe. One of the best things that a company can do in order to secure its data is to buy a shredder for your office. A shredder can help to keep sensitive client information out of the hands of identity thieves and can protect the reputation of your business.

If you are considering the purchase of a paper shredder for your organization, here are several things you should consider.

  1. What types of materials do you need to shred? Obviously you are going to want to shred paper documents. However, many companies need to shred more than just paper. Do your sensitive documents have staples and paper clips? If they do, you are going to want to pick a shredder that can handle these. You might also need to shred computer disks, CDs, DVDs and continuous forms. Again, you should check to see if the shredder that you are interested in will handle these types of materials. Fellowes Powershred HS 440 High Security Paper Shredder
  2. How many departments in your organization handle sensitive data? If your company has an accounting, marketing and sales department, it is possible you might need to consider buying more than one shredder. Remember that if it is not convenient for your employees to use the shredder they will probably just throw things in the garbage.
  3. How many people will need to share the same shredder? If you decide to purchase one shredder for your entire office, you will need to figure out just how many people will be using the shredder. It is important to know this so that you can determine the correct size of shredder that is most appropriate for your needs. After you have determined the approximate number of users that will be sharing the shredder you can get an estimate of the amount of sensitive information that needs to be shredded each day. Keep in mind that the actual amount is usually double the initial estimate.
  4. What level of security do you need? For organizations that deal with large amounts of sensitive consumer data, it is important to consider purchasing a shredder that offers a greater level of security. The level of security offered by paper shredders is a reflection of the size of shredded materials that it produces. Most low security shredders will shred documents into long strips. As the security level rises, shredders will cut documents into smaller and smaller pieces. The ultimate in document security is offered by DOD approved shredders which cut documents into such small pieces that they are approved for use in high security government facilities.