Let’s find out!
In its most basic form, a paper shredder is anything that enables a person to shred paper from whole sheets into smaller strips or particles. Simple right? By that logic, a Labrador puppy might be considered a paper shredder. A curious toddler might be considered a paper shredder. Rough weather might be considered a paper shredder. These definitions are very reductive, and the paper shredders we’re all actually thinking of are far more complex.
What else defines a real paper shredder?
- Paper shredders are mechanical devices.
- Paper shredders are often used by individuals, companies, and government organisations.
- Paper shredders use a motor and series of blades to slice through papers, so as to make them more indistinguishable and indecipherable.
- Paper shredders are often used to destroy sensitive, confidential, or obsolete information (or if you want to destroy all evidence of a bad business proposal or report).
If you’ve stumbled upon this post, the odds are that you already know a bit about paper shredders and are seeking additional information. While the underlying premise of paper shredding is simple, shredders can be used for multiple purposes.
What are Paper Shredders Used for?
- Getting rid of sensitive or confidential information– government organisations and places like hospitals often use paper shredders to quite literally obliterate sensitive files or patient profiles, rendering the documents unusable and unreadable.
- Keeping ahead of fraudsters and malicious people– shredding is often use paper shredders to ensure that personal data and files cannot be easily obtained by fraudulent parties after being discarded. Shredding means that frauds are unable to decipher or use other people’s personal or business information. Shredding old bills, credit card statements, and tax forms can help you to keep yourself guarded against identity theft.
- Waste management– shredding and then recycling office or personal papers allows you to get rid of waste in a safe, secure, and efficient manner contributing to a tidier and more productive work space.
- Client privacy– many businesses, companies, and medical institutions shred evidence of their client’s data in order to protect them against fraud and other issues, and to maintain their privacy. This is even the law in many places, demonstrating how important it is.
- Destroying old credit cards, CDs and DVDs– some heavy duty shredders can shred more than just paper. Shredding old cards, CDs and DVDs helps to declutter your home and life, and makes you less susceptible to being taken advantage of.
These are the main reasons that people and companies use paper shredders and it’s easy to understand the motivation. You might see how shredding paper and other materials can help in these situations and you might be wondering…
Why Should I Use One?
- Compliance with the law– in many places, companies, and organisations, it is the law for employee and client files to be shredded in order to maintain privacy and protection. If your office has a shredder already then you’ll know how important they are, and if not, it might be time to invest in one.
- Preventing identity theft– destroying personal and private data, or any identifying information will aid in slowing the spread of identity theft, even though it is rampant in today’s world. If a hacker or thief is unable to piece together your documents, they will be unable to try and take over your life.
- Information management– while not all personal and company documents are sensitive or confidential, it is still preferable to shred some of them rather than allow ideas and plans into other people’s hands. It can’t hurt, and it could help in the long run.
- Declutter and organise– shredding unwanted, spare, or obsolete documents and files can help to tidy up a space, and contribute to a more productive working environment. No one likes to work on a desk that’s piled high with old and dusty papers. Get rid of them!
- Environmentally conscious– this is important to a lot of people and is increasingly important as pollution and waste continues to threaten nature. Shredding and recycling paper and plastic can help towards restoring the earth, and shredded paper can be used in compost, mulch, as packaging or pet bedding. It’s good to go green!
- Eliminating fire hazards– it will come as no surprise to you that paper is easily flammable. Having loads of excess papers cluttering your home or office can put you at greater risk of fire. Even though house and office fires are not ridiculously common, it’s best to minimise the risk and create a safer environment for everyone by shredding your unwanted papers.
Shredding Paper is FUN
It might not be considered a proper reason but I think it is still worth a mention. Shredding paper is fun! If you needed any further persuasion to start shredding your home and work papers then here’s your motivation; do it as a cathartic and enjoyable task that contributes good to many areas of company life and is very satisfying.
In all honesty, there’s no downside to having a paper shredder. So all that is left to say is get out there, make the world a better place, and get shredding!