Shredders vs. Shredding Services

Not all shredders are alike.  In fact, there are six different categories of paper shredders, providing a wide range of document security.  Shredders are rated in security specifications by the Deutsche Industrie Norm (DIN); therefore, one shredder will specify DIN 1 and another, DIN 3.

For business consumers, it is important to know that only grades DIN 3 through DIN 6 are FACTA compliant.  Therefore, you may need to change your shredding protocol to be in compliance with these standards.

The following six categories can help you decide if your current shredding service is meeting your needs.

The 6 Categories of Shredding Security:

1)       DIN 1:  This paper shredder offers the lowest level of security and is used for shredding non-confidential office information.  DIN 1 shredding is not for use with private or personal information and creates 3/8” strips.

2)       DIN 2:  Commonly used in the shredding of sensitive office documents, the DIN 2 specification is implemented in destruction of non-confidential items and is not suggested for destruction of private or personal information.  A DIN 2 shredder typically creates 1/8” strips.

3)       DIN 3:  This is a FACTA compliant shredder employed in the destruction of personal information and confidential documents.  This type of shredding may be most useful for a personal consumer, as it fulfills the necessary requirements to destroy documents containing account numbers, tax information, and financial data.  The DIN 3 standard includes cross-cutting and creates approximately 1/8” x 2” strips of paper.

4)       DIN 4:  This level of security is utilized in destruction of commercially sensitive documents and secret documents.  DIN 4 shredders are also FACTA compliant and produce 1/8” x 1 1/8”, cross-cut strips of paper.

5)       DIN 5:  Typically, DIN 5 shredding is employed in the destruction of top-secret and exceptionally confidential documents.  It is also FACTA compliant and results in 1/16” x 5/8”, cross-cut strips of paper.

6)       DIN 6:  This type of paper shredding offers the highest level of security to consumers.  Generally, DIN 6 specifications are used by government organizations and usually found in the shredding facilities of a commercial shredding company.  As the most secure form of shredding, DIN 6 standards are NSA/CSS approved for top-secret documents and FACTA compliant.  DIN 6 shredding standards produce cross-cut, 0.031” x 0.16” strips of paper in accordance with the NSA/CSS specification 02-01.

DIN levels 1 through 4 are intended to benefit the general public and can be used in most office environments.  DIN levels 5 and 6 are primarily used in government facilities for top-secret information that might lead to the compromise of national or state security.  For those operations which need document destruction more rigorous than DIN 6 standards, high-security document disintegrators meeting the NSA/CSS specification 02-02 will reduce confidential documents to a fine dust.

For more information about what type of shredding service is right for your business, call Shred Nations at 800-747-3365 to speak with a representative today.

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