With multiple high-profile security breaches in the recent past, data security, identity theft and credit card fraud have been top of mind. What can you do to protect yourself from opportunistic thieves who attempt to steal your personal information? The first step you can take is destroying sensitive financial documents with a high-quality paper shredder from Office Depot, and this guide will help you determine which option is the best paper shredder for you. Whether you choose a Fellowes shredder, Royal shredder, Ativa shredder or other commercial shredder, these tips will ensure your new shredder meets your needs. We also recommend you navigate our site, and be sure to read the paper shredder reviews before purchasing to ensure the customer experience is as you would expect.
These documents all contain information that can be useful to an identity thief. Such documents should be destroyed if not needed for future use. For example, your pay stub will almost always contain your name and address and, depending on your employer, could contain other information such as bank account information or even your Social Security number. Make sure this information can’t fall into the wrong hands by shredding bills, receipts, bank statements, pay stubs, old credit cards and more.
Performance – What to Look For
Shred options: Staples, paper clips, DVDs/CDs and credit cards can be handled by certain shredders. If you are shredding multi-page documents held together by staples or paper clips, or if you’re destroying junk mail regularly, consider getting a heavy-duty shredder that can destroy more than just paper.
Duty Cycle/Run Time: This is the amount of time a paper shredder can operate continuously, plus the number of minutes in the cool-down period before it can be used again without shortening its life.
Sheets Per Pass: This refers to the number of sheets of paper that the shredder can destroy at one time. Choosing a larger capacity will help cut down on time spent shredding.
Shred Speed: This is the speed at which a shredder can destroy a bundle of paper, usually measured in feet per minute.
Additional Features: Full wastebasket indicator, manual reverse, overload protection (including jam avoidance or jam-proof features), automatic document feeder, safety lock-out, quiet operation and energy savings are convenience options that many would appreciate in a high-volume shredder. These features provide added convenience, versatility and longer life, and you’re likely to find more features on the more heavy-duty shredders. Depending on your budget, you may want to focus on 1 or 2 that you feel are essential. Even the best shredder won’t have every feature.
Security – Shred Type
This type of micro-cut shredder cuts papers into small chips and provides an even higher level of security than a cross-cut shredder. It produces a very small amount of waste.
These cross-cut shredders turn documents into small rectangular pieces and are generally considered more secure than strip-cut shredders. Another advantage to the cross-cut shred is a reduction in the amount of bulk remaining in the wastebasket when you’re done.
These paper shredders turn documents into long, vertical strips. These can be reassembled relatively easily, so while these shredders are often the fastest, they should only be used for non-critical documents that do not contain personal information.
Where to Use – Footprint & Wastebasket Capacity
For light home use, a strip-cut document shredder with a small waste bin is often sufficient. If you plan on destroying more sensitive documents, such as bank statements, you should consider a cross-cut shredder. Shop these options in our personal and home office shredders category.
A cross-cut shredder is typically suitable for most small office shredding needs. A commercial paper shredder with a larger bin ensures convenience in large offices with high-volume needs. A great way to save time, an auto feed shredder features a tray, much like a printer, where you place documents you wish to be shredded, and the machine will automatically feed itself. While not the fastest method, it involves little human involvement and allows you to attend to other tasks while the shredder operates.
Typically reserved for large companies or for government offices, commercial-level shredders not only handle huge quantities of paper, they shred CDs, tapes, ID cards and more at high volumes and high security. Most industrial shredders and heavy-duty paper shredders are packed with convenience features, like LED keypads, automatic sensing, safety shutoff, cardboard shredder capability and more. Government-approved industrial paper shredders meet NSA/CSS Specification 02-01 and are designed to destroy highly sensitive documents in such a way that reconstruction is generally impossible.
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