Should You be Shredding Documents at Home?

Posted on Thu, 04/11/2019
Home Shredding

Whether you want to destroy an expired credit card or sensitive documents, it’s important that you safeguard your personal information. But what makes more sense – shredding at home or using a professional shredding company?

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. Based on a report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it has been estimated that 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In 2017, 13.87% of all consumer complaints were identity thefts. Credit card fraud was the most common with 133,015 reported cases, followed by tax-related or employment-related frauds, phone fraud, and bank fraud.

That means we all need an ongoing plan for protecting our personal information. The first step is to learn about document shredding equipment, and most importantly, the difference between home shredders and industrial shredders.

What Happens When You Shred at Home

Shredding sensitive documents at home may seem like a nice convenience, but it’s fraught with challenges. First, let’s say you decide to purchase a small shredder that shreds papers into confetti-size pieces of paper. Have you thought about what you’ll do with all of that paper? Your recycling company won’t accept it. Do you really want to toss it in your trash can knowing it will end up in a landfill? (Rhetorical question – of course you don’t want to add to our country’s growing trash problem.)

And what about all the time you spend removing paper clips, staples, and binder clips so they don’t get jammed in the home shredder? And the slow process of shredding one or two sheets at a time because that’s all home shredders can handle? Add up the hours you spend shredding at home over the course of the year and you’ll realize you are not making good use of your time.  

What Happens When Documents Are Not Professionally Shredded


Ever hear the story of the confetti fiasco at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City a few years ago? Two friends were watching the parade and one noticed that some of the confetti stuck to his friend’s coat. As they picked it off, they noticed the letters ‘SSN’ (Social Security Number) and a number next to it. They started to gather some of the confetti that had fallen around them, and found phone numbers, addresses, more Social Security numbers and then they found incident reports from the police. Somehow the shredded documents from the Nassau County Police Department’s offices ended up as confetti at the parade. (When you use a NAID AAA certified shredding company, you never have to worry about your sensitive documents and confidential information ending up in a ticker-tape parade.)

Industrial Shredders Protect Personal Information

If you want to shred important documents that contain personal information and prevent them from landing into the hands of criminals, an industrial shredder — like the ones used by professional shredding companies — is what you need.

An industrial shredder is designed to handle any and all document shredding needs. Industrial shredders handle large volumes of paper at a time. With industrial shredders, everything can be placed into the feeder. When the shredded material is processed at the paper mill, all the metal from paper clips, staples, and binder clips sinks to the bottom of the vat where it can be collected and recycled.

For the same amount of time it takes to shred a single piece of paper in a home shredder, you could have a bag of papers shredded in an industrial shredder — and have it done safely and securely.

If you’re considering shredding at home versus hiring a professional shredding service, know that there’s no comparison. Whether it is time saved, the peace of mind that your data has been securely destroyed, or knowing that you’ve avoided sending more material to a landfill, is there any reason not to use professional shredding services?