Selective Shredding vs. Shred All Policies

securely shredding paper

Protecting your private information in today’s age is crucial. Customer data, employee data, documented business processes, and other confidential information should be safely stored and maintained until they can be securely destroyed upon expiration. Document shredding is a necessary component of any document management program, but there are several different ways to approach shredding. Many companies wonder if they should utilize a selective shredding strategy or implement a shred-all policy. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of both strategies below.

What is Selective Shredding?

Selective shredding is the process of setting specific company-wide guidelines that details which documents to shred and which to toss. Management decides which items contain confidential information and should be shred, and which are safe to throw in the trash or recyclable bin. Once the policy is established, staff training is required to ensure that all employees comply with the policy.


  • Can be more economical if you pay for shredding services by the pound


  • Time consuming to plan and monitor
  • Requires employee training
  • Allows room for employee errors, mistakes, and possible information leaks

What is a Shred All Policy?

A shred-all policy is quite simple: every document is shredded once it reaches is expiration date. Deciding on a shred-all policy streamlines your document management efforts as employees don’t have to consider whether or not shred a certain file.


  • Simple to implement
  • Requires no training
  • Leaves no room for employee errors


  • Can lead to increased shredding costs if charged by the pound

Selecting a Shredding Policy for Your Business

Implementing a shred-all policy unquestionably keeps your program in compliance with all federal and state information protection laws by ensuring no information falls between the cracks. Keep in mind though, each business is unique, so there is no one right way to implement a shredding policy  It is important to look at your business and weigh the security benefits with the potential increased costs. For small businesses with only a few employees handling documents, it may be easy to implement an effective selective shredding policy, allowing you to save some money on shredding costs. However, for larger businesses, the cost and time spent implementing the selective shredding policy and increased risk of error might outweigh any potential shredding savings.

If you are unsure of the best shredding policy for your business, ConfiData is here to help! We offer a free, no obligation site visit to discuss your security and shredding needs and offer insights on how to implement more effective processes to keep your business safe and compliant. Ready to get the conversation started? Call 1-800-627-4733 or fill out our contact form to request a free initial consult.