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Why Shredders Are Important to Offices

shredderShredders are important to have in offices because they help protect important business information, cut costs, enable a business to manage its waste efficiently and in an environmentally-friendly way, and guard clients’ privacy. Being familiar with how shredders benefit offices helps those responsible for buying office equipment understand why their offices need shredders.
1. Enhanced Security for a Business or Organization
The business world is competitive, and it is therefore important to protect business secrets. Even organizations that are unconcerned with profits often need to keep their documents safe from prying eyes. For this reason, it is important to shred some documents instead of disposing of them in the trash. Competitors and other unwanted information seekers can pick documents from the trash and use them how they please without fear of legal recourse. Powerful shredders are capable of destroying more than just paper. They can shred credit cards, identification cards, CDs, DVDs, and tape cassettes. Only by shredding disposable documents and other important materials can businesses and organization protect information that is vital to their operations.
2. Reduced Costs
Shredding documents is important to a business’s or organization’s security, and there are two options for handling this vital task. The first is to buy a shredder and the second is to hire a mobile shredding service. The former option tends to be less expensive than the latter, especially for businesses and organizations that have a significant amount of documents to shred. Shredders can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending upon their shredding capacities and other features. Most businesses and organizations also do not shred as many documents as they should, so they may not realize that purchasing a shredder is cost-effective solution to protecting important information. Moreover, the expenses that are associated with leaked information can be far greater than the cost of a shredder.
3. Enhanced Waste Management
Waste management is a concern for every business and organization. Effectively disposing of waste keeps an office clean, orderly, and organized, all characteristics that it needs to be a productive environment. Shredding paper, even documents that do not contain sensitive information, helps reduce the volume of paper waste. This enables paper containers to hold more paper before someone needs to dispose them. In turn, this enhancement of paper waste management helps an office to run more efficiently.
4. Environmental Friendliness
Shredding paper also gives an office more options for how it can deal with its paper waste. Offices that ship items can use the shredded paper instead of Styrofoam to pad and protect those items. Shredded paper is also great for composting. Both practices are environmentally friendly, the first forgoing the use of non-biodegradable Styrofoam and the second contributing to the creation of more soil for plants. Offices also retain the option to recycle shredded paper if they so wish.
5. Legal Obligation
Although it may not apply to all businesses and organizations, many are legally bound to destroy certain documents to protect clients’ privacy. Even where business and organizations are not legally obliged to destroy documents with sensitive information, many should do so anyway. It is important to protect the privacy of clients, so businesses and organizations should err on the side of caution and shred documents that could negatively affect the well-being of their clients if they fall into the wrong hands.
The Right Shredder for an Office
Even after understanding why shredders are important to offices, it can be a challenge to find the right one. Those responsible for buying office equipment have to make certain considerations, such as how many sheets of paper the office is likely to shred per day, how many sheets employees should be able to shred at one time, and how many people are going to use the shredder. Besides making these calculations, those responsible for buying office equipment should also be familiar with the various options that are available for shredders. Knowing these options for shredders is sure to help them buy the right shredders for their offices.
Cut Type
It is possible to categorize shredders by the type of cut they produce. The table below describes the different cut types available for shredders.
Cut Type
Cut paper into numerous long strips. Thickest cut is 3/8-inch, the mid-level cut is 1/8 to 3/4-inch, and the thinnest cut is 1/16-inch; The thinner the strip, the more secure the shred is
Cut across paper diagonally in opposite directions, producing diamond-shaped pieces; Paper waste is small, offering a high level of security; Also known as confetti-cut shredders
Most secure type of cut; Micro blades cut paper very fine so that is nearly impossible to piece it back together; Also produce the most compact waste of the three types of cuts
The type of shredder cut that an office needs mostly depends on how sensitive the information is on the documents that need to be shredded. Wide strip-cuts are suitable for managing paper waste, but they do not destroy sensitive information the way micro-cut is capable of doing.
Security Level
Paper shredders are rated by the level of security that they offer and this corresponds with the types of cuts the shredders produce. The smaller the cut, the higher the security level is. Levels 1 and 2 are generally unsuitable for ensuring the protection of a business’s or an organization’s sensitive information. In fact, businesses and organizations require shredders with a security level of 3 in order to comply with legal regulations about protecting clients’ privacy. The widest strip-cuts are Level 1, the mid-level strip-cuts are Level 2, and the thinnest strip-cuts are Level 3. Cross-cuts are Level 2 or 3 and micro-cuts offer Level 4 security.
The capacity levels of shredders vary, so it is important to match a shredder’s capacity with the demands of an office. Manufacturers may describe shredders’ capacities in various ways, but horsepower is a good standard to use across the board. The greater the horsepower of a shredder, the more powerful its motor is and the more papers it is likely to be able to shred at one time. Many manufacturers also suggest a maximum daily workload for their shredders and these guidelines are good indications of how many documents the shredder is capable of handling per day.
Other Features
Shredders may offer a range of other features that those buying office equipment may find useful for their offices. An auto-feeder enables users to place numerous sheets on a tray, which automatically feeds them into the shredder without a user present. Some shredders have a slot through which users can feed media such as CDs and DVDs. A paper jam indicator is helpful because it helps users to fix problems that are related to jammed paper. A good safety feature is a sensor that turns the motor off if it detects an unfamiliar object in the paper-feeding area.

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