The Do’s and Don’ts of Document Shredding

Are you looking to dispose of sensitive documents securely? Document shredding is a common and effective method of disposing of confidential information. However, there are several do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of to ensure that your document shredding process is effective and secure. In this article, we will cover the essential guidelines for document shredding, including how to properly shred your documents and avoid common mistakes.

Do: Use a cross-cut shredder

Cross-cut shredders are more secure than strip-cut shredders. A cross-cut shredder cuts your documents into small pieces, making it nearly impossible for anyone to piece them back together. This is especially important if you are disposing of sensitive information like financial documents, social security numbers, and medical records. Using an industrial shredder with cross-cutting capability is the best way to ensure that your documents are securely destroyed.

Don’t: Forget to remove paper clips, staples, and bindings

Before shredding your documents, ensure that you remove any paper clips, staples, or bindings. These items can damage your shredder’s cutting blades and reduce its effectiveness. In addition, these metal items can cause potential safety hazards for those handling the shredded paper. Removing these items will help ensure that your shredder operates smoothly and efficiently.

Do: Shred all sensitive documents

Shred any document that contains sensitive or confidential information, even if it seems insignificant. This includes old receipts, credit card offers, and junk mail. These documents can contain personal information that can be used for identity theft. If you are not sure whether a document should be shredded, it is always better to err on the side of caution and shred it.

Don’t: Leave documents unattended

Never leave your documents unattended while they are being shredded. This can create a potential security risk if someone gains access to the documents. If you need to leave the shredder while it’s running, turn it off and unplug it to prevent anyone from accidentally turning it on.

Do: Dispose of shredded documents properly


After shredding your documents, it’s important to dispose of them properly. You can recycle the shredded paper, but be sure to check your local recycling guidelines to ensure that shredded paper is accepted. Alternatively, you can dispose of the shredded paper in a trash bag or bin. Be sure to mix the shredded paper with other waste to make it more difficult for anyone to reconstruct your documents.

Don’t: Store shredded documents for too long

Storing shredded documents for too long defeats the purpose of shredding them in the first place. It is recommended that you dispose of your shredded documents as soon as possible to avoid any potential security risks. If you need to keep certain documents for a longer period of time, consider storing them in a secure location or in a digital format.

Do: Invest in an industrial shredder for large-scale shredding

If you have a large amount of documents to shred, it’s worth investing in an industrial shredder. Industrial shredders are designed to handle large volumes of paper, making them ideal for businesses and organisations that deal with sensitive information. These shredders are also equipped with advanced security features, such as automatic shut-off and jam detection, to ensure that your documents are shredded securely and efficiently.

Don’t: Overload your shredder

Be mindful of the shredder’s capacity and do not overload it with too many documents. Overloading your shredder can cause it to jam or overheat, reducing its effectiveness and lifespan. If you have a large amount of documents to shred, it’s best to shred them in smaller batches to ensure that your shredder operates smoothly.

Your confidential information remains secure and out of reach of potential identity thieves and other malicious actors. By adhering to these do’s and don’ts of document shredding, you can ensure that your confidential documents are shredded securely and efficiently. Remember, taking proper precautions when shredding documents is an essential part of safeguarding your personal and business information. 

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