How NOT to Destroy Employee Personally Identifiable Information

April 25, 2023 at 8:00 am by Amanda Canale

Employee personally identifiable information (PII) is filled with critically private and personal information, such as financial information, healthcare information if provided by the employer, pay stubs, addresses and phone numbers, and more, so it should always be destroyed with the utmost care. 

Before we get to how not to destroy these types of files, it’s important we discuss how long you should keep them for. When it comes to personnel records, retention periods can vary. For instance, the Department of Labor Correspondence and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) require any financial statements, documents from the IRS and Department of Labor Correspondence themselves, and plan and trust agreements to be kept three to four years, or even longer depending on the case.

However, when it comes to normal employee files, applications, contracts, and other employee personal information, they should be kept for two to three years from the date of termination. What about their compensation documentation? Keep these on file for three to five years from the termination. (This is important to remember!)

Now, let’s get to the fun part – the destruction!

Ripping Up

While ripping paper into confetti-sized pieces can be a great way to relieve some stress, we don’t necessarily recommend this tactic when getting rid of your most recent fire’s employee file. Even if you weren’t too crazy about your coworker, if not destroyed with high security end-of-life destruction equipment, their information could easily fall into the wrong hands, and your coworker could be the next to fall victim to identity theft – which nobody deserves. Don’t believe us? Take for instance the DARPA Shredder Challenge, where people quite literally competed to reassemble 10,000 shred particles for a large grand monetary prize. While the average person would much rather do anything else than spend 600 hours putting shred pieces back together, the same cannot be said for hackers and thieves; if it’s going to grant them access to your most sensitive information, then chances are they will rise to the occasion!

Shredded paper with text.

Recycling and/or Throwing Away

While we support the green initiative in wanting to recycle end-of-life PII documents, unfortunately this isn’t possible. Again, if it’s not a good idea to rip up your employee’s files, it’s not safe to simply throw it out or recycle. Sadly, the majority of our waste and recycling ends up in landfills and dumpsters which are typically gold mines for hackers and thieves. In addition, recycling and waste are not always transported securely, which makes it easy for people to intercept and have access to your most private and identifiable information.

It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to end-of-life data destruction. When it comes to specifically destroying employee files, it is best practice to use a secure, in-house method, like our Model 244/4 high security paper shredder. 

The Model 244/4 is our most popular high security paper shredder. Why? This solution is NSA evaluated and listed by the NSA/CSS EPL and meets DIN 66399 Level P-7 standards. Our 244/4 provides a rugged performance with an NSA one hour durability of 17 reams per hour while encased in a quiet system, making it the perfect choice for small or mid-size department use. 

Want even more security? Our Model 344 offers an even more secure shred size than the current mandate for the National Security Agency (NSA) requires. We like to call the 344’s final particle size as P-7+. This device is the only high security paper shredder on the market that offers a particle size of 0.8mm x 2.5mm (that is 50% smaller than the current National Security Agency requirement!) 

By adopting a shredding policy, you are making the most cost-effective, safe, and secure decision to take preventative measures to ensure that your past and current end-of-life employee information does not fall into the wrong hands.

The Most Trusted Global Brands Have This One Thing In Common…

May 3, 2021 at 3:23 pm by Amanda Canale

A recent article by Morning Consult released a list of the world’s top fifteen most trusted brands as rated by consumers. Surveys were conducted amongst ten countries over a period of thirty days where consumers were asked their opinions on over 4,000 brands and products.

A common theme? Three out of the top five most trusted brands use SEM high security data destruction equipment for their end-of-life drives. A coincidence? We think not. In today’s world, trust between a company and consumers is crucial to a brand or product’s survival and to build positive relationships. At SEM, we focus on data security. We pride ourselves on our ability to work closely with our clients to find the solution that fits their compliance and budgetary requirements. It is this level of care and approach, combined with our quality and unwavering integrity, that has established SEM as the industry leader for high security data destruction equipment.

If three of the world’s top five most trusted brands trust SEM devices for their end-of-life data security – shouldn’t you?

What Documents Should You Shred After Filing Your Taxes?

April 26, 2021 at 6:16 pm by Amanda Canale

Ah, tax season. A time to reflect and reevaluate on the past year’s finances, and a wonderful excuse for some major spring cleaning!

In this blog, we’ll break down all of the documents you can say, “bye-bye” to and the ones you may want to keep around for a bit longer. It’s important to note that this is simply a condensed breakdown, but more information on record retention policies (RRP) can be found in our blog, Records Retention Schedules: When Will Your Data Expire?

Bye-Bye Junk!

  • ATM and deposit receipts: These can be shredded once they are compared against your monthly statement.
  • Credit card bills: Once your bill has been paid, shred away!
  • Utility bills: Keeping utility bills once they are paid is not always necessary. However, it is recommended to save all of your utility bills for one year if you are claiming a home office deduction.
  • Pay stubs: Pay stubs should be saved for one year but once your taxes are filed, they are ready for the shredder.
  • Insurance policies: Once your policy is renewed (either with the same insurance company or a different one), feel free to feed it to your shredder.
  • Receipts: No need to pile up your desk or filing cabinet with every UberEats and Postmates receipt from the past year. It is only necessary to keep receipts from bigger purchases or items that will be deducted.
  • Monthly bank statements: Your monthly bank statements should be saved for one full year and then shredded after you receive your annual statement.
  • Monthly investment statements: All annual statements and the most recent monthly statement should be kept on file; however, feel free to shred the rest!


Documents for Next Tax Season

  • Income: Whether your income comes from wages, interest, or other business, any W-2, 1099, or K-1 forms, and bank and brokerage statements should be kept leading up to your next tax return.
  • Deductions and credits: Any receipts pertaining to childcare, medical and dental expenses, using your home as your business, alimony, or charitable donations should be kept leading up to your next tax return. In addition, any receipts or invoices, cancelled checks, and bank or credit card statements.
  • Home and property documents: Whether they are closing statements, proof of payments, insurance records, or home and property renovation receipts, these types of documents should all be kept for a year leading up to tax season.
  • Investments: Any and all 1099 and 2439 forms, brokerage statements, and mutual fund statements should also be kept prior to filing your taxes.

With all of this being said, it is important to mention that there are some financial documents that should be kept for a specific amount of time after you file your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has three years to assess additional tax and audit returns, meaning it would be a smart move to keep any documentation to support your recent claim should be kept on file.

Shred Away!

Now is the fun part: shredding time! While there are various ways to destroy a paper document (as detailed in our recent blog, How NOT to Destroy Paper Documents), we at SEM know it to be best practice to use a high security paper shredder (no, big box store shredders won’t cut it — pun intended!) when destroying all of your end-of-life paper documents. By adopting a secure shredder policy, you can be sure your financial information does not get into the wrong hands. We suggest the SEM Model 1324P deskside shredder for all of your at-home shredding needs. This device offers a DIN 66399 P-4 particle.

P-7, shown above, is the standard for the destruction of classified material on paper

At SEM we have an array of high-quality NSA listed/CUI and unclassified paper shredders to meet any regulation. Any one of our exceptional sales team members are more than happy to help answer any questions you may have and help determine which machine will best meet your destruction needs.

A SEM Flashback from 1987

April 23, 2021 at 4:40 pm by Amanda Canale

Talk about a blast from the past!

Recently, our Director of Sales, Bryan Cunic, received quite the interesting email from a customer. The customer, who is based in Florida, was reaching out with a service question for their office paper shredder. The machine in question? A SEM Model 266.

To most people, this may not seem newsworthy; but to our team, this request was on par with finding an antique artefact or stumbling upon buried treasure. The Model 266 is a previous iteration of the current SEM Model 266/4 and was initially sold to the customer in 1987. (Yes, you read that right! A 34-year-old paper shredder!)

A SEM Model 266 from 1987

The fix? All that was needed was some fresh oil on the shredder blades, and after a restart, it was running like it was 1987 again!

The 34-year-old paper shredder is a perfect testament to the durability of SEM’s destruction devices. Our machines are built to last with state-of-the-art technology and materials and have been doing so for over the past 50 years. It is this reason why we at SEM know that the best practice is to conduct all data destruction in-house with NSA listed equipment. We pride ourselves on working together with our clients to find the solution that makes the most sense for their needs while meeting destruction regulations that are meant to last.

How NOT to Destroy Paper Documents

April 5, 2021 at 1:13 pm by Amanda Canale

In the age of Big Media, it’s easy for some to say, “Paper is dead! Everything is digital now!” Well, not quite. Even as we get further and further into the digital age, not everyone (or everything) has gone paperless. While the majority of our information and data has gone digital, there are very literal paper trails linking our identities to our private information. From medical records and birth certificates to mailed credit card offers and business contracts, there is a plethora of paper documents out in the world that hold some of our most private and confidential information. It is this reason in particular why we at SEM stress that any end-of-life paper documents containing sensitive or confidential information should be destroyed securely. Join us as we break down some of the methods that should be avoided.

Cutting and/or Shredding by Hand

As satisfying as ripping up physical spam mail can be, making it your primary shredding method is not recommended. While this method may be enough for mail or documents not containing private, confidential, or personally identifying information (PII), it will not ensure that the information cannot be pieced back together. Unfortunately, when media or data of any nature is not destroyed with high security end-of-life destruction equipment, there is always a risk that some of the data may be recovered. Take for instance the DARPA Shredder Challenge where people competed to reassemble shred particles, or our previous blog, A History of Data Destruction.

Shredded paper with text.

Recycling and/or Throwing Away

While we support the green initiative in wanting to recycle your end-of-life confidential paper documents, unfortunately this cannot always be securely done. For starters, the majority of our waste and recycling ends up in landfills and dumpsters which are typically gold mines for hackers and thieves. In addition, recycling and waste are not transported securely, making it easy for people to intercept and have access to your most sensitive and confidential information.

It is reported that, on average, recyclables and waste sit on sorting floors for up to four weeks before finally being destroyed. Given that length of time, anything can happen! It is important to note that after this period, remnants of your information are not magically sorted; dozens of employees’ sort what the machines cannot and have direct access to your data. By opting for a seemingly eco-friendlier alternative, you will unfortunately only put your data at more risk.


It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to end-of-life data destruction. When it comes to specifically destroying paper documents, it is best practice to use a paper shredder. By adopting a shredding policy, companies and organizations can take preventative measures to ensure that end-of-life confidential information does not fall into the wrong hands.

That’s why at SEM, we want you to future proof the destruction of your most sensitive and confidential data with one of our high security paper shredders, the SEM Model 344. The Model 344 offers an even more secure shred size that we like to call P-7+. This device is the only high security paper shredder on the market that offers a particle size of 0.8mm x 2.5mm (that is 50% smaller than the current National Security Agency requirement!) This compact, portable, energy saving option is listed on the NSA/CSS Evaluated Products List and has a throughput of 12 reams of paper per hour when feeding five sheets at a time.

By opting for in-house data destruction methods, you and your company or agency are making the most cost-effective, safe, and secure decision. It is also important to remember that a data breach is a data breach, no matter the level of impact. At SEM we have an array of high-quality NSA listed/CUI and unclassified paper shredders to meet any regulation. Any one of our exceptional sales team members are more than happy to help answer any questions you may have and help determine which machine will best meet your destruction needs.

Complying with the New CUI Paper Destruction Mandate While Meeting Federal Sustainability Goals

January 28, 2021 at 8:44 pm by Amanda Canale

This new ISOO directive will redefine what it means to keep CUI data, and ultimately the American people, safe. While executive branches and agencies continue to move towards federally mandated and private sustainability goals, as well as update existing equipment to meet the new CUI standards, it is important to know that systems exist that can assist in meeting both targets in a cost-effective manner with the same end-of-life system. 

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History of Data Destruction

October 20, 2020 at 9:00 am by Amanda Canale

For thousands of years, humans have recorded and documented history, stories, and their life experiences. These written records have transformed from cave wall drawings and papyrus scrolls to printed novels and Kindle books. With the transformation of the written word, the methods of destruction have also evolved. Let’s dive into some of the history of data destruction methods and some of the key players involved.

4000 B.C. Egypt: The Invention of Papyrus
Papyrus, the world’s first ever form of paper, was invented in ancient Egypt thousands of years ago in approximately 4,000 B.C. People began using it to document history, life events, news, and stories. With the inception of recorded information came the need to destroy that information, whether to prevent confidential information from being stolen or placed into the wrong hands or destroying information that was deemed inappropriate or blasphemous. When the need for destruction would arise, without modern day shredding technology, people were forced to resort to manual destruction of papyrus scrolls. Fire was also a viable option to destroy recorded information, as seen in the 48 B.C. destruction of the Royal Library of Alexandria and its loss of 500,000 scrolls’ worth of recorded history.

1909 New York City: Abbot Augustus Low’s Paper Shredder Patent
New York City-based inventor Abbot Augustus Low is known for his invention of the first ever paper shredder in 1909. Unfortunately, Low passed away shortly after filing the shredder’s patent and was unable to manufacture it beyond just an initial prototype. His invention was primarily intended to be used in banks and counting houses.

1935-1959 Germany: From Pasta to Particles
It wasn’t until thirty years later in 1935 when the paper shredder was actually first manufactured. Adolf Ehinger created the first real paper shredder as a matter of life or death; at the time, he was living in Nazi Germany and was being questioned about the anti-Nazi literature in his garbage. Ehinger created a paper shredder that mimicked a hand-cranked pasta maker to destroy the literature and was able to successfully avoid persecution.

After this incident, Ehinger added an electric motor to his paper shredder which he was able to market and sell throughout the Cold War in the 1950s. Once his machine quickly started gaining popularity, his company, EBA Maschinenfabrik, crafted the first cross-cut paper shredder. This newer model not only shredded the documents into strips, but also sliced them into smaller pieces similar to confetti to ensure extra security.

1940s: The World’s First Degausser
After the introduction of iron ships in the late 1800s, scientists and crew members soon discovered that iron had an interesting effect on compasses and magnetic fields. It wouldn’t be until decades later when they would use this information to create the first ever magnetic degausser.

Decades later during the early days of World War II, Canadian chemist Charles F. Goodeve was working for the British Royal Navy researching methods to disarm war mines. In 1939, a British naval shore was targeted by a German mine that, luckily, had been disarmed before causing any harm. After conducting research on the now disarmed mine, Goodeve and his team were able to discover that the mines were equipped with triggers that would detonate based on the surrounding gauss level. A gauss level, named after scientist and mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, is a unit for measuring magnetic density. This discovery was major news back then as the British Navy was able to install electrical cables lining the circumference of their ships that would carry an electrical current, ultimately neutralizing the ship’s magnetic field. This first act of degaussing allowed the British naval ships to remain completely undetected by the Germans and enemy mines. It was this revolutionary technology that has led to modern-day degaussing of tapes and other magnetic devices.

1968: The Inception of Security Engineered Machinery
Korean War veteran and SEM founder Leonard Rosen created the first ever paper disintegrator in 1968 after the infamous Pueblo Incident. The Pueblo Incident occurred on January 23, 1968 when the USS Pueblo, a U.S. Navy intelligence vessel, was intercepted by North Korean patrol boats. In an act of desperation to protect national secrets, the Pueblo crew members began furiously trying to destroy the onboard classified information. Unfortunately, the crew was unsuccessful in their mission and were forced to surrender, leaving their attackers with free reign over the remaining documents.

In comes Leonard Rosen. This incident didn’t sit well with Mr. Rosen, a Korean War Veteran, who began to draft a better paper destruction method specifically for confidential and classified information. Within a matter of a few weeks, he had created the world’s first paper disintegrator. What makes the disintegrator different and more secure than a paper shredder is that it uses a repeating knife chopping process and screen that the particles must pass through. Disintegrator particles pass through the sizing screen in irregular shapes, sizes, and orientations and fill the waste chambers at different times, all of which makes it much more difficult to piece the now destroyed records back together.

SEM Founder Leonard Rosen with his invention, the disintegrator.

Since 1968, data destruction methods have only become increasingly more advanced and secure. The commodified use of paper shredders has transformed from being solely in government buildings to now virtually every place of business and personal homes. Shredders have steadily gained popularity over the years due to infamous incidents like the Watergate Scandal in 1973 and the Iranian Embassy siege in 1979, and are now equipped to shred magnetic drives and other forms of optical media.

For over 50 years, SEM has been the driving force behind innovative data destruction methods and has laid the groundwork for end-of-life best practices. Today, we are the industry leader for electronic media crushers and shredders, and have data destruction equipment in every U.S. embassy, military base, naval ship, and government building across the globe. We know that the best way to protect federal and personal information is to conduct all end-of-life data destruction in-house with SEM’s state-of-the-art destruction equipment.

Shredding Through Time

July 28, 2020 at 10:00 am by Flora Knolton

Paper shredding can first be accredited to Abbot Augustus Low of New York, who filed a patent for an improved wastepaper receptacle in 1909, sparking the first idea for a paper shredder. Low’s invention was intended for use in banks and counting houses, but unfortunately was never manufactured.

The first known mechanical paper shredder actually was created in Germany in 1935. A man, Adolf Ehinger, was inspired by a hand-crank pasta maker to create a machine to shred sensitive material after being questioned about anti-Nazi literature in his garbage. The machine was cranked inside of a wooden frame that was large enough to handle one sheet of paper. Later in the 1940s, he added a motor to power the shredder and sold the shredders to a host of government entities.

During the cold war, Ehinger’s shredder increased in popularity. In 1959, his company, EBA Maschinenfabrik, created the first cross-cut shredder that cut paper into tiny bits for an increased security level. To this day, EBA Maschinenfabrik continues to design and produce shredders under the name of Krug & Priester, who purchased the business in 1998.

Since Ehinger’s invention, shredders have played a role in many important times in history. Before the 1980s, shredders were nearly exclusively used by the government, military, and banking industry. But in 1987, the U.S Supreme Court that ruled that your garbage, once brought to the curb outside, is considered public property. Come the 1990s, statistics proved how corporate and personal identity theft had skyrocketed. Most of the public wasn’t even aware of the existence of paper shredders until they began to surface in connection with scandals such as Watergate in the 1970s, Iran-Contra in the 1980s, and Enron in 2002. The increase in identity theft and scandals caused concern which led to businesses and individuals burning their paper waste. Because it is so detrimental to the environment, this increase in burning led to laws prohibiting the incineration of trash, which had the effect of businesses and regular citizens turning to paper shredders for secure document disposal. Despite the negative stories and unfair reputation from the media about how they are used to cover the tracks of the guilty, Ehinger’s purpose was to protect the innocent. Throughout the 20th century, paper shredders have become more secure by using cross-cut methodology and creating smaller shreds.

Privacy laws such as the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), The Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) to name a few, render organizations responsible for protecting customer/consumer information. It’s important for businesses to legally comply with these regulations and it is also a best practice for business to routinely destroy data that has outlived retention periods. Shredding paper opens up many environmentally-friendly disposal alternatives that are better than tossing it all in the dumpster.

In 1968, in what is now known as “The Pueblo Incident”, Navy intelligence vessel USS Pueblo was captured by North Korean patrol boats. According to U.S. reports, the Americans tried their best to destroy all the classified information aboard the ship. Unfortunately, with the volume of material on board it was impossible to destroy it all prior to capture. Korean War Veteran and founder of SEM Leonard Rosen was struck with the idea that there has to be a better way to destroy classified information. Within weeks of hearing this news, he had developed the concept for the world’s first paper disintegrator and the SEM legacy of destruction devices had begun. It’s fascinating that Ehinger and Rosen were both motivated by protecting their countries’ intelligence for the greater good of humanity at the time to produce such ideas.

SEM may have coined the term “disintegrator”, but every device from SEM is always quality. SEM’s high security paper shredders are NSA/CSS listed and reduce waste to particles no larger than 1mmx 5mm. All SEM NSA listed paper shredders meet the requirements of the new CUI security regulation that requires CUI documents to be shredded and meet  . The Model 344 paper shredder produces particles of 0.8mm X 2.5mm, which is half the size of the current NSA requirements, for those looking for the highest security. Many of SEM’s paper shredders are factory installed with an automatic oiler, but for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, the Model 1201CC paper shredder may be what’s necessary. The Model 1201CC was the first high security paper shredder tested oil-free by the NSA and listed on the NSA EPL for classified document destruction. Oil free shredders save money on oil refills and are perfect for the eco-conscious consumer.

Buying a paper shredder is an insurance policy that helps protect sensitive information. Our trash is not “our” trash once it’s outside, and its vital to be conscientious about what is being thrown away. Paper shredders have been around for over 100 years now and will continue to be necessary even as  more offices vow to go paperless. Paper will still be around, and SEM has all the Classified and Unclassified paper shredders to meet your media destruction needs.



How to Properly Handle Information While Working From Home

July 14, 2020 at 9:20 am by Paul Falcone

Working from Home During Covid-19

With respect to the unprecedented times into which the world has unfortunately fallen, many people have had to adapt to working remotely to protect their and others’ health. This change has come with unique challenges for both individuals and organizations, especially those that work with sensitive information, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and classified information. When working with sensitive data, it’s important that remote workspaces are properly secured to prevent security risks, especially when data breaches can cost a company millions. Here are some tips about working from home in general, and what to do to prevent leaking data.

First and foremost, stay organized.

Sometimes at home, it can be easy to lose track of time. Taking periodic breaks to stretch and eat can be helpful for your mind and body to gather more energy to get back to work. It’s also easy to blend your work environment with your home environment and can start to associate where you live with your job. Make a designated workspace if you can and stick to keeping work there, which will help your brain to switch more easily between work mode and home mode. Create a schedule, whether that be for your lunch and dinner times, or whatever time you wake up. This will help you prioritize your day and ensure your work-life balance is able to stay intact. Lastly, when working from home, your computer is your most valuable asset to completing the job accordingly. Keeping your devices and software updated and making sure all the necessary files are accessible so features can function appropriately is of utmost importance. Any suspicious problems with your computer should be addressed by IT so you can do your job securely.

Develop a policy, get essential gear.

Due to the required stay at home order put in place around the world, Covid-19 has forced many companies to have their employees work from home. This trend in working from home is bound to take off post-coronavirus as companies like Twitter and Google are already allowing their employees to work from home indefinitely. For many, this is a more flexible and comfortable option for those who can do their job on a computer wherever there is Wi-Fi without being in the confines of an office. According to research, 85% of C-suites and 60% of small business owners agree that the risk of a data breach is higher when employees work off-site than when they work at the office. With this uptick trend in working from home, it is critical that employees follow a remote work policy while being equipped with the proper devices to promote safety at home. Apart from establishing a VPN for all remote workers to access their data, a communication plan should be taken into account. Whether that’s Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, or email alone, make sure these new policies are communicated effectively to all parties handling sensitive information daily. Establishing a breach notification process for employees to follow can ensure the problem is addressed as quickly as possible. It will allow the organization to minimize the damage and take preventative action.

The best way to destroy sensitive paper information is with a shredder. For unclassified data, the SEM Model 1324P cross-cut commercial paper shredder is an ideal size to be situated beside your work-from-home desk set-up. Meeting the DIN-66399 level P-4 security level, this device is fantastic for personal use application. For those employees handling classified data, the SEM Model 1324C/3 high security paper shredder is listed on the NSA/CSS Evaluated Product List. This device is also perfect for low volume small areas while meeting DIN-66399 level P-7. Both devices are ergonomically designed, easily maneuvered, and under 50 pounds.

SEM Model 1324/C

It’s impossible to know if/when data will be compromised. But with preventative measures put in place like adopting a shredding policy, the risk is mitigated. It’s a legal and ethical responsibility for all organizations to protect PII and trade secrets within to prevent these potential irreversible breaches. By having a shredder in your workspace, you are taking the step to ensure sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This can help reduce the risks from within for corporate citizens and customers alike.

As always, we’re here if you have any questions. Contact us today to learn more about data destruction while working from home and, more importantly, stay healthy and safe.



Shredding CDs in a standard paper shredder – proceed with caution!

March 28, 2019 at 8:56 am by SEM

At first glance, the idea of shredding a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc (BD) in an ordinary office supply store paper shredder doesn’t seem like a bad choice. However, once you put it in the slot, you are suddenly bombarded with small, sharp pieces of disc into your face and all over the carpet; you wish that you had donned the safety goggles first. There must be a smarter, cleaner, and safer way to do the job.


You are right! There are a number of better options that are not nearly as hazardous or messy as the standard office supply store shredder. The best solution for you will depend on your volume and the importance of the data on the discs. For those with US government classified or other highly sensitive information, a machine listed on the NSA list would be a must. For personal use and lower level information, there are many other choices that are far more efficient and safer than office supply store shredders. High quality shredders include safety features and flaps to ensure the area stays clean and the operator stays safe.

Recently, some shredder companies have been pushing their new “combo” machines. On the surface, this concept seems to be pretty good for those who see an advantage in being able to shred CD/DVDs and paper with the footprint of one larger machine. However, these units have only one cutting head; one end has a slot that handles the paper while the other end does the CD/DVD destruction. Unfortunately, this is a critical design flaw that can cost you money and downtime. You see, without a separate cutting head for the paper and a separate one for the CD/DVD material, you run the risk of serious cutter head stress and machine damage over time. In addition, these Combo machines are fairly expensive, have only one compartment for waste-(paper/plastic contamination is not good for recycling) and when they break, you lose ALL capability till you can get someone to fix it.

Not to fear! SEM has the perfect machine for this requirement, and our solutions won’t leave you high and dry when you need us most!

SEM’s solution to the combo unit is a bundle package: the NSA Listed Paper and Optical Media Destruction Package for medium volume applications which includes our NSA listed 0200 OMD/SSD with Cabinet Kit for classified optical media destruction and our NSA listed 244/4 paper shredder for classified paper destruction. The 0200 OMD/SSD is NSA listed to destroy optical media including CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, SIM cards, CAC IDs and more to a less than 2mm particle as per NSA requirements. Destroying up to 1,091 discs per hour, the 0200 OMD/SSD is a great solution for medium volume of optical media destruction. The 244/4 is our #1 selling high security paper shredder designed specifically for medium and high volume office applications. These machines together have a very competitive price, have a similar footprint to the combo units, have far greater capacity, and won’t cross-contaminate the paper and plastics, so you can recycle both particles.

However, the most important reason the bundle is the smarter move is that if one unit fails the user will still have one machine to destroy either paper or CD/DVD/BDs. This is a critical point to consider, especially for those who work in a classified environment. Don’t put all your eggs in the combo basket if you want to avoid disappointment and eventual machine failure down the road.

If you just need only CD/DVD/BD destruction and you have a high volume of classified media, the NSA listed SEM 0200 OMD/SSD with cabinet will mutilate up to 1,091 discs in only an hour! Housed in an attractive cabinet and easily portable, this little workhorse is perfect for an office environment where versatility, cleanliness, and security are a must.

Next time you think of using an office shredder to destroy a CD — PROCEED WITH CAUTION and get the right machine for the job!