Paper Shredders – Are They a Safe Way to Destroy Your Documents?
Paper shredders are a safe way to destroy documents and data. As the name implies, shredders reduce documents including private data, bills, medical information and business documents into smaller illegible pieces. The goal of a shredder is to reduce the documents into hundreds of prices and mixing it in with other documents to make it difficult or possible to reassemble them.
Paper shredders are common household machines used to destroy personal and business documents, credit cards, and compact disks (CDs.) Most of us have piles of old bills, credit card statements, medical records, mortgage information, and credit solicitations that need to be destroyed safely and securely. Strip shredders cut documents into long, narrow pieces. To be sure your privacy is protected, a cross-cut shredder is considered one of the best types to purchase. Cross-cut shredders cut documents into small pieces that are under two inches long.
If you don’t own a home paper shredder or have access to one, some stores and banks offer in-store shredding services. To have your documents and credit cards shredded, you bring your bag of documents to a store that offers the service. Shredding services often charge by the pound. Although banks sometimes offer this service to their customers for free. The downside to using a retail location’s shredding service is that customers generally leave their bag of documents with the store clerk and pay a fee. The documents are shredded later, out of sight of the customer. This is an inherently flawed process and in no way, guarantees that your data secure. You have no way of knowing if the store clerk is trustworthy. You also don’t know who else will be handling your sensitive data and documents. The only way to be sure your data is kept private and destroyed safely is to personally witness its destruction.
Another shredder option is to utilize a truck-mounted shredder service. This is my personal favorite! In my community, the truck mounted shredder services are frequently sponsored by local businesses or a part of community events. Because it has a sponsor, this service is usually free of charge. Truck mounted shredders are much larger than their household counterparts. They can shred one hundred pages or more at a time. They also can chop up paper clips and other fasteners without becoming jammed. This type of uber shredder can destroy credit cards, and CDs.
The operators of this service follow secure practices. The operators have the customer empty their own documents into a container. This container is wheeled to the truck, always in plain view of the customer. Truck shredders have a camera mounted in the shredding compartment that is positioned over the top of the shredding blades. Customers can watch their documents from the time they empty them into the holding bin all the way to the moment they go through the blades. The sensitive data is never out of sight!
Michelle writes about cyber security as well as how to protect your data online. She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers