How to protect sensitive data with paper shredders


Securing data and respecting the right to privacy are key issues in business across the globe. The Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPIA) was introduced in South Africa in July 2020. Not only do businesses have a legal obligation to secure the information of their clients, but a well-managed business with regard for ethics also has to be able to give clients peace of mind.

One of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that confidential data is protected is by shredding the documents.


There are a few factors to consider in the process of choosing which paper shredder to use.


In a small office, where there isn’t a lot of confidential information to dispose of on a regular basis, a smaller shredder will do the trick. In larger offices, the machine must be durable if it will be used often by many people.

In certain industries, confidentiality is of utmost importance. Medical practitioners must be absolutely certain that a patient’s information will not be exposed. In the world of finance, it goes without saying that sensitive information has to be protected.

ripped paper
How to protect sensitive data with paper shredders
torn paper

Keep in mind that some shredders have the ability to shred bank cards, for example, and not only paper.

There are various security levels applicable to shredders. You might find our guide on shredder security levels useful in making your decision. In short, there are 7 levels, with level p-1 being the least secure, and level p-7 being the top level of security used by the military and intelligence services. Other processes, such as pulping, can also help to further secure documents.

Depending on the type of data that you have to protect, there are two “cut types” to choose from. The strip cut or ribbon cut and the cross or micro cut, which is also often referred to as the confetti cut. The latter cut is the most secure option, but shredding documents may take longer. The strip cut option allows you to shred more documents at once, but concerns about documents being reconstructed, may arise.

Shredding documents can be a time-consuming process, therefore certain safety measures have to be put in place to secure documents until they can be shredded. In many offices, documents are contained in a safe or in a bin with a lock. Larger quantities can then be shredded on a scheduled basis.

Some companies choose to make use of shredding services, rather than investing in a shredding machine, to save costs and if the frequency of use does not justify the price of a shredder.


At Digishred, we have a knowledgeable team ready to assist you in choosing the best paper shredder for home and office use. We can also help to determine whether or not you should buy or rather opt for shredder rentals. You can browse our range of paper shredders for sale, or choose one of our shredder rentals. Get in touch for a free quote.