How to Find the Right Paper Shredder for Your Business
Given that destroying paper is rather generic, you’d think all paper shredders are the same, right?
On the contrary, there are different types of commercial paper shredders, with so many models that it can be difficult to choose which one will best suit your needs.
There are several reasons you may need a paper shredder, and these motives will help you determine which one you should purchase.
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to about paper shredders, and why you may need to get one for your business sooner rather than later.
The Importance of Paper Shredders
Data security is a major concern for most businesses.
If sensitive information gets into the wrong hands, it could destroy your company.
Data breach cases are growing by the day, and one of the best ways to prevent them from happening is by destroying any documents you need to dispose of.
Instead of looking for places to securely store this information, a paper shredder will help you maintain security effortlessly.
Let’s look at some benefits of paper shredders.
For Protection Against Identity Theft
When sensitive documents are shredded, they pose no threat at all.
If they’re unreadable, then your business is safe from unscrupulous parties.
Shredding your documents means that confidential information will not be exposed to identity theft.
The Law Requires It
Some businesses, such as law firms, healthcare, and financial services, are required by law to shred their documents.
If you fall under this category, you have a legal obligation to protect your clients’ sensitive information, and you would be complying with the GLB, SOX, HIPAA, and FACTA laws.
Customer Confidence and Clutter Reduction
Depending on your type of business, your customers highly depend on you to protect their medical, financial, and personal information.
With a document shredding policy in place, your customers will have confidence that they are safe as they know their information will be well disposed of.
Beyond that, paper documents pile up over time, and if you’re not careful, your office could be filled with clutter.
This could dampen productivity and impact employee morale, so shred those documents to minimize clutter.
All you have to do is digitize all the information you need then shred the documents, DVDs, and credit cards you have.
Cost-Effectiveness and Eco-Friendliness
Shredded papers can be recycled, which will reduce waste, and as long as you get the right paper shredder, you won’t have to worry about energy efficiency.
This is an affordable way to get rid of excess papers, reduce clutter, and avoid data theft.
What to Consider When Choosing a Paper Shredder
Regardless of whether you want to protect your customers and employees from identity fraud or to comply with the law, there are several factors you must consider before choosing a paper shredder.
Ask yourself what level of security you want, where you’ll be using the shredder, and what features you need to make things easy.
Types of Paper Shredder Cuts
There are many types of shredders, from home shredders to industrial shredders. All these give a different paper cut, so consider which one suits your needs.
- Strip-cut shredders are the most basic cut and most suited for non-confidential documents. The papers are shred vertically in long but narrow strips that are often still readable.
- Cross-cut shredders shred confidential documents, and they offer a medium level of security where the papers are barely legible.
- Micro-cut shredders are the advanced option, and they shred highly confidential documents, and they result in confetti-like papers.
- Crypto-cut shredders are used to destroy incredibly sensitive data, and they shred documents to dust.
There are several more considerations you need to make while choosing a paper shredder.
This will depend on how much shredding you plan to do, and the more the shredding, the bigger the bin you need.
Maximum Page Load
This refers to the number of documents you can feed to the shredder at the same time.
If you’re just a small business, a maximum of 10 pages will do, but if you have a large business, then you may want to consider a larger capacity.
Shredders come in all sizes, so consider the size of the documents you need to shred.
Beyond that, you also want to consider the format of the data you want to destroy.
Some shredders will only shred paper documents, while others will go as far as shredding floppy disks, CDs, paper clips, DVDs, and credit cards.
Consider how many people will need to use the shredder in the office to see whether you need a mobile one that can easily move from one place to the other.
The run time and cool-down time of the shredding machine matters.
Most people don’t consider this when choosing a paper shredder, but the run time, also known as the duty-cycle, means that you can only use it for a given period of time then wait for it to cool down.
Manual vs. Automatic Feeding
Manual feed shredders are exactly what they sound like.
You need to feed them manually, and it’s okay if you don’t need to shred too many documents at once.
However, an auto feeder would be ideal if you need to shred plenty of papers.
Auto feeders have a tray where you place all your documents, then press a button and leave the machine to do the rest.
The Noise Level
This is also another overlooked feature, and most people only realize that noise is a factor when they use the shredder.
On average, most shredders have a noise level of 65 decibels, so consider what will be a disturbance in the office.
Look for one that shreds silently, especially if you do lots of shredding throughout the day.
How to Maintain Your Paper Shredder
Maintaining a paper shredder is relatively easy.
It’s recommended that you oil the blades each time the capacity is full or after doing intensive shredding.
You may also refer to manufacturer instructions when you choose the right shredder for your business.
You also need to keep it clean using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the paper dust that sticks on the blades.
Your business may encounter legal penalties if it fails to dispose of sensitive documents and materials properly.
Investing in a paper shredder might be one of the most important things you can do for your business.
There are many options on the market, and now that you know what to look for, you can make an informed decision.If you’re looking for the best shredder for your business, contact us or check out our website to see some of your options.