Shredding Security Levels Explained

For many buying a paper shredder can be a confusing business. There is bin size, number of papers a machine can shred in a single go and then there is the security level. The first two are really about convenience and the number of shared users but shredder security can be a really key issue.

Identity theft is on the radar of the world’s legislators; US legislation obliges anyone employing one person or more to look after sensitive information. Failure could incur fines and leave the individual or company open to being sued. In Europe the relevant EU Directive dates back to 1995 and mandates a framework of protection for personal information. In the UK, failure to treat sensitive data correctly can result in a fine up to £500,000 and if operating in sensitive sectors there are more stringent penalties.

Paper shredders are given a security grading based on the type of cut used in destroying a document. The grading starts at S2, a ribbon cut for general day to day shredding of non sensitive documents. S3 machines give a confetti cut suitable for personal / strategic information. S4 machines provide a micro cut for highly confidential information such as financial data, personnel records etc. Finally S5 shredders deliver a super micro cut providing a security level for top secret or highly confidential information, e.g. government or military data.

Deploying shredders in key locations around your business is an effective destruction strategy. Rexel offers a comprehensive range of paper shredders from S2 to S5 security levels.