Paper Shredders to Keep Your Sensitive Info Secure

Take care of business—and make sure others mind theirs.

Shredded paper
Try stealing my sensitive info now, criminals!Pixabay

From tax returns to bank statements to credit cards, we’ve all got a trove of sensitive personal documents that are best kept secret. But that doesn’t mean you have to store them forever! When the time comes to clean out your filing cabinet (or that stack of paperwork on your desk), take caution confidently with your very own paper shredder.

Fellowes Powershred 99Ci 100% Jam Proof Cross-Cut Paper Shredder
Child- and pet-safe technology that can run for 30 minutes continuously.Fellowes

There’s more than one way to destroy a sensitive document. Strip-cut shredders cut paper into long strips, while cross-cut shredders cut paper into strips and then slice these strips diagonally to create shorter strips. Any kind of paper shredding is superior to hand-tearing or crumpling, but most experts recommend cross-cut shredders for extra security.

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Home Office Shredder
User-friendly design for everyday document destruction.AmazonBasics

Shredders come in a variety of sheet capacities, with the ability to shred anywhere from six to 25 pages at a time. If you’re looking to dispose of old paperwork piecemeal—an old medical record here, a credit card statement there—consider buying a shredder with a lower sheet capacity. It’ll be more affordable and use less energy. If you need to destroy large volumes of paperwork regularly, consider investing in a more powerful machine.

Aurora AU800SD Professional Strip Cut Paper Shredder/CD/Credit Card Shredder Without Wastebasket, 8-Sheet Strip-Cut No Basket
Lightweight design with extendable arm that fits any trash receptacle.Aurora

It’s surprisingly satisfying to use a shredder—just make sure you’re not feeding yours more than it can handle. Paper documents are obviously okay, but check to see if your particular model can handle stapled or paper-clipped pages before putting them in. Many shredders can be used to destroy older plastic credit cards and cds, but keep in mind that they can’t shred credit cards with metal chips.

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Capacity, Cross-Cut Paper and Credit Card Shredder, 4.1 Gallon
Double-shreds documents into diagonal strips to ensure their destruction.AmazonBasics

Like any piece of electronic equipment, your shredder will need regular care to keep running smoothly. Read your user manual to find out the best way to keep your model’s blades in tip-top condition. Running the machine in reverse mode after a shred session is generally a good way to keep wadded paper from building up. Happy shredding!

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