One of the biggest problems for individuals and businesses alike is identity theft. Nothing seems impossible for thieves who want to steal information, either for creating fake identities or selling it for profit.
One of the easiest methods to steal anyone’s identity is to get documents which have personal information about them. Anything from an old tax return, to a utility bill or old contracts, can be like a gold mine of information about an identity thief. Thanks to today’s technology, a person only needs a fragment of your sensitive data to steal your identity.
A simple way to stop identity theft
To stop from becoming a victim of identity theft, the best way will be to shred your records that have sensitive data. For some people, this can seem tedious and time-consuming work.
A paper shredder is a simple device to help with that. It can shred your records so that it will remain hidden. But before you buy and use a paper shredder, there are some things you should know.
- Don’t go for the cheapest paper shredder.
If you choose the cheapest shredders found at some department stores, you will only add to the shredding problem. These cheap machines can overheat quickly, and you cannot shred a lot of paper at the moment. The blades and cutting mechanisms tend to jam, and the blades easily dull fast.
To sum up, if you go for the cheapest one, then you will have to buy a new one very soon, choose a good brand paper shredder. Look for the warranty information if it is valid only for one year or less, best to avoid it.
- Don’t go for an expensive one.
You don’t need the most expensive one out there unless you run a big business and generate a lot of documents that require shredding. Look for a shredder which can shred more sheets at a time.
Select shredders that can shred some pages per pass rather than having extras like CD or credit card shredders. If the shredder can handle at least 8 pages per pass and has both reverse and off settings, then it is a good buy.
- Don’t shred everything.
You don’t need to have undue fear of identity theft by shredding everything. Just shred the papers that contain your personal information. If you receive junk mail, you can directly throw it in the recycle bin. Look for papers that have your name, address, or even a spot of your signature, and make sure to shred them. Also, shred checks or applications. Watch out for fine print on the back of papers. If they are present, do shred them.
The bottom line
Like other forms of theft, the theft of identity is also on the rise. So you need to be cautious about not becoming a victim of it. Rather than trying to shred papers on your own, get a professional shredder to help you. It can give peace of mind about your identity and other sensitive data being safe.