How do I reattach shredded documents

Destroying files: Shredding private documents efficiently and securely

Shredding files: With a shredder you can shred private documents quickly and safely.

The year is drawing to a close and some people may still clean up in the old year. If you find old invoices, contracts or bank statements, you should by no means just throw them away. As a rule, the documents contain various personal information. Document shredders have proven their worth in order to properly destroy the sensitive papers. The devices are available at prices between 10 and tens of thousands of euros - from cheap devices to large-scale document shredders for companies. COMPUTER BILD reveals what to look out for when purchasing a paper shredder.

Destroying files: differences in the types of cut

Probably the most important feature of a document shredder is its cutting mechanism. A distinction is made between strip cut and cross cut, the latter is also known as particle cut. The names already reveal how the devices chop up imported paper. Paper shredders with strip cut are usually cheaper than cross cut models and are recommended for users who do not need the highest security standard. Because: The strips produced can be put together with a lot of patience, and the shredded document is then readable again. Document shredders that use the cross-cut method are safer and therefore more expensive: They shred paper at least into short strips, small scraps of paper or even tiny particles.

Document shredders: the security levels

How accurately a document shredder works is regulated by the DIN standard DIN 66399. It describes three protection classes and seven security levels and does not only apply to paper as a so-called data carrier type. Ultimately, the security levels are important for home users because they determine how precisely the shredder works. While devices of security level 1 are only roughly shredded and the "destroyed" data can be restored comparatively easily, secret services use file shredders of security level 7, which destroy information without a chance of reproduction. Incidentally, data storage media means all conceivable types of information storage, such as:

Abbreviation of the data carrier type

Each data carrier type is provided with an abbreviation explained in the route above. These always precede the respective security level. According to an example from TÜV SÜD, protection class 2 is to be used for personal data or files and the data carriers to be assigned to security level 4. This results in security level P-4 for paper and H-4 for hard disks. The models from the document shredder comparison shred according to security levels 3 to 5.

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Other features of paper shredders

The collecting bins of strip cut devices fill up faster than those of the document shredders with cross cut. The reason: strips take up more volume than snippets. In addition, a strip cut model can handle more paper in one go without stopping operation. As a result, more waste is generated in the same period of time than with a cross-cut document shredder. Extras such as a reverse function and an automatic start-stop function are useful - they are standard on many devices. The manufacturers indicate a power consumption between 80 and 170 watts and a noise level between 62 and 72 dB (A). For occasional shredding, the power consumption is unlikely to be of any consequence. The noise level is different: the perceptible volume varies audibly and, depending on the model, is comparable to the operating noises of a refrigerator or vacuum cleaner. Tip: It is generally advisable to remove staples before shredding so as not to damage the cutting mechanism. Manufacturers only state that staples are not a problem for some models. These document shredders can often even cope with optical data carriers (CDs, DVDs), credit and customer cards.

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