illustrated documents being shredded by a document shredding machineYou might think that the task of paper shredding is a little like watching paint dry, but you’d be wrong. Document destruction not only has a fascinating history, but it is also essential to maintaining the safety and security of our nation, individual finances, and reputations.

Here are a few interesting facts about the history of the paper shredding industry.

  1. The first paper shredder was patented in 1909 by Abbot Augustus Lowe. Unfortunately, it was quickly forgotten because Lowe died before he could produce any machines other than his prototype.
  2. The second paper shredder was invented by a German engineer named Adolf Ehinger. He used it to save his own neck by shredding thousands of anti-Nazi propaganda documents as soon as Hitler ascended to power.
  3. President Nixon brought paper shredding into the spotlight in 1972 after shredding massive amounts of information in an attempt to cover up the Watergate scandal.
  4. The paper shredding business changed forever when Iranian revolutionaries seized mounds of strip-shredded papers from the American embassy and reconstructed the documents. Since then, governments and businesses have practiced cross-cut shredding to make piecing shreds back together much more difficult.
  5. As soon as trash hits the curb, it becomes public property. That means that the documents containing sensitive information that you threw out are now fair game to identity thieves, even if the papers were shredded. That is why it is recommended to use a commercial document destruction company. They provide confidential and secure paper shredding services that lower your risk of identity theft.
  6. The most common varieties of paper shredding machines are cross cutters, grinders, and particle cutters.
  7. Document shredding is good for the environment: many professional paper shredding services recycle the paper rather than dumping it in landfills.
  8. Doctors and health insurance providers are required by law to shred sensitive documents containing patient or client information.
  9. The paper shredding or document destruction industry generates an estimated $1.5 billion a year in revenue.
  10. The most advanced document shredding machines produce paper pieces measuring a mere three millimeters by nine millimeters.
  11. A whole 90% of identity thefts occur because of information gained from print sources rather than digital sources. That is why paper shredding is so important.

Paper shredding greatly reduces the risk of identity theft. Individuals and business owners alike need to recognize the critical impact of proper document destruction on privacy and security. For more information on paper shredding, consult a reputable document destruction company like File Shred.