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Common Shredding Methods (From Most to Least Secure)

Is cross cut or strip cut shredder better?
What is cross cut in a shredder?

There are many shredding options available, but not all are created equal. Some shredders are suitable for everyday paperwork but not for sensitive documents. Other methods are ideal for destroying highly sensitive or classified documents but are overkill for everyday use. When comparing document destruction services, understanding the common types of shredding methods is crucial to determine the best method for your needs.

Strip-Cut Shredding

Strip-cut shredding is the most common method found in basic office shredders. It cuts paper into long parallel strips and is the most economical method of destruction. However, it is also the least secure since the strips can be reconstructed to restore the document. While suitable for everyday paperwork, it is not recommended for confidential documents.

Cross-Cut Shredding

Cross-cut shredding is a step above strip-cut shredding, using vertical and horizontal blades to cut paper into tiny squares or diamond-shaped pieces. This method produces approximately 10 times more pieces than strip-cut shredding, making it a more secure option. However, with enough persistence, documents can still be reassembled.

Particle-Cut Shredding

Also known as micro-cut shredding, particle-cut shredding uses fine-toothed blades to grind paper into thousands of tiny particles. This method makes document reconstruction impossible and is the preferred choice for government agencies and organizations handling highly sensitive documents. The cost of these shredders is higher, making them less accessible for everyday use.

Pierce & Tear Shredding

Pierce and tear shredding utilizes multiple rotating blades to pierce and rip paper apart, ideal for quickly destroying large volumes of documents. This method can also handle bulky materials like cardboard and thick binders. While the most secure shredding method, pierce and tear shredders are typically found in mobile shred trucks or industrial shredding facilities due to their cost.

Embassy Offers Pierce & Tear Shredding for Houston, Austin, and Waco

Embassy Records Management and Storage provides secure document destruction services at affordable prices. Our mobile shred trucks and shredding facility use pierce and tear shredders to ensure your confidential documents are destroyed with the highest level of security. If you need secure document destruction services in Austin, Houston, or Waco, call us at 1-800-717-1443 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.

Secure Electronic Data Destruction Services

Information protection laws like HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) apply to both hard drive destruction and the destruction of hard-copy counterparts. Violations of these security laws can result in hefty fines, such as HIPAA noncompliance penalties ranging from $100 to $50,000 per violation. For instance, Affinity Health Plan paid a $1.2 million fine in 2010 because the hard drives in their copiers contained protected health information. Common Shredding Methods.

It’s More Than Just Hard Drives

Secure electronic data destruction extends beyond typical computer hard drives. Devices like phones, copiers, memory cards, and more store personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI) and need to be securely destroyed. Items that require secure destruction include:

  • Hard drives (solid state/rotational/magnetic)

  • USBs or flash drives

  • Zip or floppy disks

  • SCSI drives

  • Magnetic tapes

  • Audio visual media (CDs/DVDs/VHS tapes/cassette tapes)

  • CPUs

  • Mobile devices (cell phones/tablets/laptops/PDAs)

  • Gaming systems

  • Credit and debit cards

  • X-rays

  • Badges

  • Microfilm and microfiche

  • Backup tapes

  • RAM and ROM-based storage

  • Biomedical devices (infusion pumps/MRI and CT machines/ventilators/ultrasound devices)

  • Any system or device that contained private information at any time

How Do Hard Drive Destruction Services Work?

HIPAA and other privacy and security rules do not specify hard drive disposal methods but require that any media containing PII be rendered "unusable and/or inaccessible." Embassy Records Management and Storage ensures compliance with these regulations through a straightforward process:

  1. Call us at 1-800-717-1443 to get free quotes for hard drive shredding services.

  2. Jared Snow, our Director of Sales & Development, will discuss your shredding needs and plan a service that meets your budget and requirements.

  3. Our professionals will pick up your materials and devices, or you can ship/drop them off at our secure shredding facility.

  4. All collected hard drives and media are destroyed.

  5. After destruction, you will receive a certificate of destruction, guaranteeing the use of best practices and compliance with HIPAA and FACTA.

Embassy Records Management and Storage is your trusted partner for secure shredding services, secure record storage, document imaging services, and electronic data destruction services. Contact us today to ensure your sensitive information is protected and destroyed securely.

Contact Us for Secure Document Solutions: Ready to elevate your document security? Give us a call anytime at 800-717-1443. We're here to answer your questions and tailor our services to meet your unique needs.

Our Locations: For your convenience, we have multiple locations across Texas. Call to experience firsthand our commitment to secure document solutions.

  • Waco, TX: 2100 Webster Ave, Waco, TX 76706

  • College Station, TX: 6936 Old Jones Rd, College Station, TX 77845

  • Round Rock, TX: 1000 Heritage Center Circle Road Suite 363, Round Rock, TX 78664

  • Conroe, TX: 2040 N Loop 336 W Suite 127, Conroe, TX 77304

Discover the convenience of having a trusted shredding partner nearby. Whether you're in Waco, College Station, Round Rock, or Conroe, our locations are strategically placed to serve your document security needs.

Don't hesitate to reach out — we're here to make secure document disposal simple and stress-free.


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