When government agencies or commercial companies are looking into shredding paper, they must know that there are different security levels for shredding paper. There are six different DIN Security levels for the secure destruction of paper. Now before I explain the certain security levels, you must be asking yourself, what does DIN stand for?
DIN Standard stands for Deutsches Institut fur Normung or in English terms, German Institute of Standardization, which engages in standardization for the security of paper for government and commercial companies. There are currently around thirty thousand DIN Standards, covering nearly every field of technology; however, for the security levels of paper, it is known as DIN 32757-1 standard.
Now, to explore the different security levels. The first level is your general low security level where the shred sizes is about a ½ inch. These are acceptable for home use. So instead of the classic “the dog accidently ate my homework” line it’s now more like, “the shredder accidently ate my homework.” The second level is for shred sizes of about ¼ inch and they are generally used for small offices. Once we reach level three, things start getting serious. This level is designed to destroy paper under 2 mm or a confetti type size. It is used for offices that have confidential documents on staff members or company secrets such as sales plans. The fourth level shred size is at least 2mmx15mm and mainly can be used at hospitals to meet HIPAA standards, as well as banks to meet the GLB act for protection of consumers financial information.
Level five is for high security and you start seeing the Government and military agencies using this level for secure destruction. This is for a particle size of 0.8x12mm. All five security levels are part of the DIN standard for paper destruction. However, there is one more level that is not yet a DIN standard but absolutely will be and that is Level six. This is recognized as the highest level of security where shred sizes must not exceed 0.8 x 4mm. This is also known as NSA approved shredders.
These different security levels are specifically designed as a standard to guide customers to make an informed choice on making sure they are destroying their non classified and classified paper, and making sure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands!