• 23
  • Feb

Paper Shredding Mistakes to Avoid

One of the reasons you need a paper shredder is to ensure sensitive data has been disposed of accordingly. It’s important to know people’s common mistakes when using paper shredders.
Let’s take a closer look at common paper shredder mistakes you should avoid.

1. Follow the Right Steps When Shredding Paper

You might be in a rush and try to cut corners by missing a step, like feeding the paper into large letter-sized documents.

If you’re unsure of the right steps required when shredding documents, then it’s a good idea to read over your owner’s manual. Manuals usually include diagrams and instructions on how to get rid of those sensitive documents efficiently.

According to Shred Confidential, when you’re planning to shred paper, make sure you:

  1. Remove any staples or bindings from the paper before shredding.
  2. Separate the documents into easily shreddable portions
  3. Feed the documents into the shredder one at a time.
  4. Never mix paper with plastics, metal, or other non-paper materials. If you can’t remove staples, then ask your local waste collection service to do it for you.

2. Selecting the Right Paper Shredder

If you’re purchasing a new paper shredder, then take some time to consider your budget before making any final decisions. The type of paper shredder you can purchase for your office will depend on the level of security, the volume of documents to be shredded, how much time you have to get work done, and whether you need to maintain a professional “clean” look.

Many individuals opt for a paper shredder that can handle both paper and plastic in the same machine. You can choose from many different models to suit all your needs. Regardless of the model of your paper shredder, it’s still important to identify how long you plan to use it and how often you will use it in the first place.

3. Avoid Hoarding Mistakes

Avoid keeping some documents for too long since a data breach may easily arise in the process. You should make sure you establish a paper shredding policy to ensure confidentiality and data protection.

The establishment of a paper shredding policy can help your office avoid:

  1. Hoarding of documents that contain sensitive personal information.
  2. Data breaches as a result of not storing data properly. The organization is expected to have the necessary security measures when handling and storing clients’ confidential data.
  3. An audit should be done to check whether any security measures have been implemented at all.
  4. Business continuity may be affected if clients are prohibited from accessing sensitive information.
  5. Client’s privacy may also become a concern as they may not want to share information with potential new partners.

You must make sure your organization has a paper shredding policy in place when handling clients’ confidential documents and files.

4. Tracking and Logging the Status of Shredded Materials

There are times when an organization’s shredder jams, and therefore, it’s necessary to know the status of your paper shredding machine. If a paper shredder is jammed and it’s business hours, then a supervisor should be informed immediately. Mistakes happen, but they should be known to rule out any possible consequences that negatively affect the organization.

5. Paper Shredder Maintenance

Paper shredders are no exception when it comes to maintenance. When the paper shredder is not in use, make sure you clean it well to prevent any dust and debris from accumulating. You should also see to clean out all the parts of your paper shredder regularly so that vital pieces don’t get lost.

You may need a special key when you’re changing the paper in your paper shredder.

6. Failing to Use a Certified Shredder Provider

Paper shredding is a critical component of the overall IT security infrastructure for most organizations. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you use a certified provider and that the organization has an appropriate paper shredding policy in place. The main focus should be on professional paper shredding.

7. Breaking the Law

It’s important to know that paper shredders are very similar to other paper rolling machines like copiers and printers, so they should be treated with care when handled. To avoid any issues, on-site paper shredding is advisable; this will not only ensure your company can avoid any legal issues they may come across but also be sure to protect any sensitive data from reaching the wrong hands.

8. The Risk of a Shredding Accident

There is always the risk of shredding yourself or someone else when shredding paper due to the razor-sharp teeth on paper shredders, ranging from minor nicks and cuts to severed fingers. If you are handling a paper shredder often, then bring a pair of gloves with you in case you cut yourself.

Paper shredding accidents are dangerous to the individual handling the machine and to other people, especially those who may be in the vicinity; this can cause major issues for your company if it’s an illegally kept document that goes into the wrong hands. It’s important to follow common safety procedures when dealing with office machinery, including full awareness of how sensitive your documents may be.

9. Your Paper Recycling Habits Aren’t Good

If you happen to find yourself with a gap in your waste disposal plan, it’s best to leave the old paper somewhere that gets recycled. Not all waste collection services are available everywhere, but if you are located in an area where you can get rid of the old paper, it may be worth looking into recycling.

If your business happens to dispose of more than 100lbs of old paper a month, you should consider starting a paper recycling program; this will help you with waste disposal and save you money by lowering your running costs.

10. Choosing the Right Shredder Size

One of the paper shredding mistakes you should avoid is failing to get a paper shredder of the right size. If you’re purchasing a new paper shredder, then you should pay attention to the size of your office shredder to make sure it’s compatible with the amount of paper you intend on shredding and the amount of time it takes for it to do so.

If you’re working in a large organization, then the amount of paper you have to dispose of can get very high. Once this builds up, the amount of time it will take to shred it all will also increase. If your company is growing rapidly and you need to speed up how you handle sensitive information, then it’s time for you to invest in some heavy-duty industrial equipment.

If the papers that need shredding have piled up and you’re not in the capacity to handle all the workload, Shred Confidential is here to assist you. The company will handle the shredding process confidentially and there is no need to worry about a data breach.


We have listed different paper shredding mistakes you should avoid. The main focus should be on professional paper shredding. To avoid a data breach, on-site paper shredding is highly recommended. To avoid issues like legal proceedings and to comply with regulations, shredding policies are necessary.

Are you in need of paper shredding services? Feel free to reach out to our team at Shred Confidential. Contact us today through (email) and (phone number).

Shred Confidential administrator