Having some IT security background, I tend to be a little more, shall we say, careful with the security of my information. This includes how I dispose of them. I don’t just crush up documents and bin them. I make sure they’re properly shredded, at the least.
I recently shopped around for a new shredder as my old one had stopped working. The GBC brand of shredders seem to be very commonly available here, and they have a variety of models to cater to different needs. I ended up with the GBC X308 model. It’s still considered rather basic in specifications, but it will get the job done.
The GBC X308 shreds paper into 5 x 42 mm cross-cut pieces. It chugs paper at 1.8 metres per minute, and it can take up to 8 sheets of 80 gsm paper at one time. The collection bin has a volume of 15 litres. In operation, the shredder makes 70 db of noise, similar to that of a hair dryer. The standard slider switch selects between auto-on, off, and reverse mode.
It is worth noting that shredders can have different kinds of output. Strip-cut ones produce narrow continuous strips of paper as long as the original sheet of paper. These are not very “secure”. There are higher-security types, but cross-cut ones like the GBC X308 which produce confetti-like output is typically sufficient for casual home users.
You should also also take note about the number of pieces and thickness of paper you can feed the shredder. Consumer shredders for home use like the GBC X308 tend not to take too many sheets at once. Even though the specs state 8 x 80 gsm paper, it starts to struggle doing more than 4 sheets at once.
Consumer shredders tend to get overworked too easily. I think my old shredder might have died from overwork. You see, I do my shredding in bulk, which turns out to be a bad idea. You should give the shedder a rest after 3 minutes or so of continuous heavy use.
Staples and paper clips need to be removed from the paper before shredding. The GBC X308 is supposed to cope with staples, but it is not recommended to feed them into the shredder.
There is a standards definition for the security level of shredder output known as DIN 66399. The GBC X308 has Level P-3 security. This is considered good for “for highly sensitive documents and personal data subject to high protection requirements, purchase order, order confirmations or delivery notes with address data”.
I personally would not be comfortable depending solely on Level P-3 shredding for highly sensitive documents. But hey, everyone can determine their own information security posture. If you’re shredding something very highly sensitive, I’d suggest to stir-up the shredded output, and divide them up to be disposed off separately.
The GBC X308 shredder retails at $49.90, or thereabouts, depending on which of the numerous places you can find them (Popular, Harvey Normal, Lazada, etc).
There is presently an ongoing promotion that includes some shredder oil sheets which are designed to lubricate the blades of the shredder for optimal results and prolong the life of the shredder.
I don’t recommend simply chucking personal and confidential documents into the bin. Shredding them first, before disposing the output, is a simple way to protect your information.