Identity theft remains a major concern for consumers as criminals find new ways to steal data. In 2017, the number of identity fraud victims hit a record high of 16.7 million, according to the FTC. Paper continues to be a common target for fraudsters, with one in every five data breaches involving paper documents.
The paper shredder cut style determines the security level of your secure paper shredder. It is an essential factor to keep in mind as you source for a new commercial shredder for your office. High-security shredders help mitigate the risk of your sensitive information falling into the wrong hands.
The security level of your industrial shredder will depend on the kind of information contained in the paper that you want to shred. It determines how thoroughly the paper is cut. There are three basic shredder cut types: strip-cut, cross-cut, and micro-cut.
7 DIN 66399 standards determine the security level of a paper shredder, with classes ranging from P-1 to P-7. Class P-1 is the lowest security level, suitable for general documents. P-7 is designed for data demanding the highest security.
The strip-cut is the most common paper shredder cut type present on the market. It cuts the paper into approximately 40 thin strips, which can be easily reassembled and decoded. P-1 and P-2 DIN 66399 classes utilize this cut.
- P-1: Uses the basic cut style, with the paper shredder cutting the pieces into strips that are one-fourth of an inch wide. This is the lowest security level and is suitable for paper with general information and advertisement.
- P-2: The shredder cuts paper into long pasta-like strands about one-eighth of an inch wide. You can use it for paper with expired and non-sensitive information.
The cross-cut is a middle-level secure paper shredder. Cross-cuts involve twin-blades that slice the documents both lengthwise and widthwise. The paper strips are tinier and harder to piece together. A cross-cut shredder can also crush credit cards, CDs, and flash disks. P-3 and P-4 level shredders use this cut.
- P-3: The secure cut is suitable for confidential non-sensitive information such as personal emails and everyday paperwork. It cuts the paper to an average of 200 strips.
- P-4: The secure paper shredder utilizes a super cross-cut that chops the paper to approximate 400 tiny pieces. It is perfect for sensitive business paperwork with proprietary information.
Micro-cut is the highest security cut used for highly sensitive and confidential paperwork. This paper shredder cut style works best for financial institutions, government contractors, and military agencies. The highly secure paper shredder cuts documents in minuscule particles that are practically impossible to recreate.
- P-5: The first level micro-cut shredder shreds paper to about 2,000 pieces. It is suitable for use in financial and accounting firms.
- P-6: Level 6 shredders cut paper to a maximum particle size of 10mm2. Level 6 shredding is suitable for extra-confidential documents such as research and product development files.
- P-7: It is the highest security level, with approximately 15,600 shreds per page. The ultra-secure paper shredder is appropriate for government agencies, military, and DOD contractors.
The paper shredder cut size after shredding determines the security level of your commercial paper shredder. Strip cuts are the lowest level shredders with micro-cuts being the most secure industrial shredding machines. Capital Shredder stocks different brands and models of secure paper shredders that can fit your security needs.