Paper Shredders and Identity Theft

 


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Don't Let Your Valuable Private Information Become Public! Use a Paper Shredder

Paper and information go hand in hand. Unfortunately, paper with information. . . private information. . . can go from your hand to someone else's all too easily. It might surprise you to know that going through the trash, either your company's or your personal home trash, is not illegal. Once it is put outside in a trash can or dumpster it is fair game. That's right, it's perfectly legal for someone to go “dumpster diving" and take whatever information they find. Disturbing? You bet. No wonder paper shredders have become so popular. It's not just computer identity theft you need to worry about it - although that's a concern! If you don't safely shred private info like credit card receipts and bank statements you are inviting the thief in!

Your image of shredding paper may be of harried Enron executives shoving reams of incriminating documents into a big metal behemoth. Sure, that's on the more dramatic end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, companies and individuals all have sensitive material that needs to be disposed of and simply tossing it into the nearest trash bin is not the smart way to get rid of it.

The government has shredded documents for years. In recent years legislation has been passed mandating disposed information be unreadable, especially medical and financial materials.

No one should dispose of paper documents with sensitive information by just tossing them in the trash. Names, phone numbers, social security numbers, credit card receipts, customer information, financial and health documents and trade secrets are just some examples of paper you should shred. Identity theft is real. Don't fall victim to opportunistic thieves. Shred all confidential material before you throw it away.

Some businesses and government agencies are also required to dispose of documents properly which may include using a paper shredder. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) lays down strict guidelines for protecting the privacy of patient's health information and there are heavy fines/penalties for not being HIPAA compliant.

Shredding paper is also better for the environment. You reduce the volume of waste and some people even use shredded paper for packing material (just be sure it is not sensitive material that could be pieced together without too much effort).

New Research Shows That Identity Theft Is More Prevalent Offline with Paper than Online. Identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Over 12.7 percent of Americans reported they were victims of Identity Theft in the last five years. The misuse of existing credit card accounts has increased to over 71 percent in the last two years. Over all, Identity Theft has increased by over 41 percent in the same period of time. Identity Theft is a massive crime and it is virtually without risk to the perpetrator. Unbelievably, only 25 percent of Identity Theft victims actually report the crime to the authorities. In 2002, estimated financial losses to American businesses were over $33 billion dollars due to rampant identity theft. The average victim lost over $10,200.00, and that does not begin to include the cost needed to recover from the abuse. It is now more important than ever to get the paper shredder you need to protect yourself and/or your clients against identity theft.

A Paper Shredder is Your #1 Defense Against Identity Theft

There are a large number of paper shredders on the market today. The two main types are strip cut shredders and cross cut shredders. Strip cut paper shredders slice the paper in one direction. This results in thin vertical strips of paper. Strip Cut Shredders are good in many situations, but they are not recommended for people requiring maximum security. Cross cut paper shredders cut documents in two directions, both vertically and horizontally. The resulting chad resembles confetti and in effect the paper is rendered to tiny bits of paper that are nearly impossible to reassemble. Cross cut paper shredders are generally better than strip shredders for high security situations, but they are also more expensive and will require more maintenance. For the best protection against identity theft choose a cross cut shredder.

If you're not shredding the following items, you need to be!
Bank Statements Credit Card Receipts and Statements Cancelled Checks Confidential Letters Expired Vehicle Registration Financial Records Expired Credit Cards, Debit Cards & ATM Cards Federal and State Tax Returns, etc.

Stop worrying about Identity Theft - Shred IT and Forget IT!

© Copyright 2005, All Rights Reserved - Paper Shredders Info

For more information about how a paper shredder can protect your identity, visit Paper Shredders Info or for the lowest prices on paper shredders visit Factory Express.

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