Do Different Business Shredders Offer Different Levels of Security? 

The majority of people who use business shredders don’t think much about them; there really isn’t a need for it, right? Business shredders are great and all, but they all do the same thing. They shred documents that are no longer needed, and we shred them because we don’t want them to end up in the wrong hands. It’s an extra security measure we take, rather than throwing documents away in the trash, since they might contain sensitive information easily identified if not properly destroyed. 

But, do all business shredders really do the exact same thing? Well, sort of. They ultimately shred papers, but they differ based on how well they do so. Basically, the level of security your business receives regarding shredded documents will depend on the shredder you choose! If you’re wondering how a shredded document can vary in security, you are not alone. It’s not unusual to assume there’s no difference at all; however, you may be surprised to learn there is! Let us explain.


Security Level Range Provided by Business Shredders

The security levels of business shredders range on a scale of P1-P7, and despite what it seems, it’s really rather simple to understand. This classification simply refers to the paper materials (P), while the numbers represent the size, or complexity, of the shred. The bottom of the scale, P1, would result in the largest size particles after shredding, so would provide the lowest level of security. In contrast, P7 would provide the highest level of security when shredding a document, as the paper particles would be very small. 

Low level security shredders are best used for information that isn’t highly sensitive. This is because the strips may still be legible if they end up in the wrong hands. Usually mid-level shredders will produce shredded particles small enough to be unable to read or piece back together with ease. This is recommended for financial information or documents that contain personal information about clients, customers, and the like. 


Types of Paper Shreds

There are three widely recognized types of shreds, namely: strip-cuts, cross-cuts, and micro-cuts. They each are as their name suggests. Strip-cuts will provide low level security because they simply cut into strips; cross-cuts are shredded diagonally; micro-cuts are shredded into very tiny particles (the highest level of security). Your best bet as a business will be to get business shredders that provide, at minimum, medium level security. These would be at the P-3 to P-5 range, and/or provide cross-cut shreds. 

So, there you have it! While all paper shredders will tear documents into smaller particles, the level at which they do so will vary based off their security rating. This can be of critical importance depending on your company and the documents you handle. Whatever your security needs, Central Business Equipment in Little Rock can help you find a shredder that will meet your business requirements. If you’re unsure exactly what you are looking for, we can help you decide based off of the general kind of documents you’ll be destroying.