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All About Paper Shredders

A device that mechanically cuts paper into strips or into fine particles is referred to as a paper shredder. Paper shredders are normally used by government organizations, business enterprises, and individuals to get rid and destroy confidential and private documents.

The first paper shredder was invented by Abbot Augustus Low and had it patented on February 2, 1909, but never had the fulfillment of manufacturing it. In 1935, Adolf Ehinger, avoiding capture and investigation of his anti-Nazi propaganda, improvised a hand-crank pasta maker to shred the propaganda documents, resulting into his brand of paper shredder, such that he, later on, improved on the device by using electric motor to easily shred papers much faster.

In the US, a 1988 Supreme Court ruling, which upheld the Fourth Amendment, stated the non-prohibition for warrantless search and seizure of left or collected garbage; and with that, paper shredders became a popular tool for citizens who saw the need to protect their privacy on confidential documents. Another law, which is the anti-burning law, also contributed to the need to buy paper shredders. When the identity theft, which is stealing personal or financial information from a person for the purpose of assuming that person’s identity to make business transactions, was getting popular, the US federal Trade Commission strongly advised businessmen to immediately dispose their financial documents by first shredding them. Even information privacy laws like FACTA, HIPAA, Gramm-leach-Bliley Act have driven businesses and individuals to take steps to secure paper shredders to dispose of confidential information.
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At these times, paper shredders come in different size and price, such that they can be small and inexpensive or they can be large units for commercial use and has the capacity to shred millions of documents per hour. Current designs have a noise reduction installed or a controlling device that can reject overloading of papers to avoid jamming.
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As mounting need increases, services of paper shredders have also progressed into a mobile shredding truck, such that this type is like an industrial-size paper shredder equipped with a storage space for the shredded materials. Instead of owning a paper shredder there is the kiosk type, which is available for public use. Furthermore, paper shredders can be outsourced by companies and shredding can be on-site or using mobile shredder trucks or having off-site shredding facilities. With this service, documents are placed in locked bins that are emptied periodically.

Theoretically, shredded documents should not be able to be re-assembled and read, but, in practice, this depends on whether the shredding has been well done or whether there are resources that has been invested to reconstruct the documents back. In other situations where useful information is urgently needed, forensic analysis is applied on the paper, ink, and cutting method, even if the documents are already shredded.