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Paper Shredders Cannot Be Ignored Anymore!

Mar 12, 2008
With millions of people around the world becoming victims of identity theft with each passing year, it is highly important that each one of us uses devices for our self-protection. People are aware of this, and are investing in highly sophisticated software in order to protect their identities. But did you know that the major portion of identity thieving still goes on through offline methods?

Dumpster diving is one of the most traditionally used methods of getting into your identity and abusing it. This happens when identity thieves scan into people's garbage boxes for carelessly discarded mail, and then start using these for their own means. They could get a credit card bill, which could expose the person's credit card number.

This can be easily used for online transactions or for securing credit against it. Even your household bills thrown in the mail could lay bare sensitive information. Just a name, address and a phone number is enough for people to steal your identity, because credit card companies do take phone numbers as proof of identity.

The seemingly innocuous credit card offer letters could put you in a grave peril if they fall into the wrong hands too. Such offers for credit cards, if discarded carelessly, can be used by dumpster divers to apply for the credit card in your name. Just think about this - they will use the credit card, and the bill will arrive at your doorstep and you will have to foot it.

That is the precise reason why you should be careful about your mail. The authorities still maintain that the worldwide cases of identity theft could be cut down to half if people were more careful about their physical mail.

One of the most important things to do here is to dispose of your mail when it is no longer required. Either you file them and put them in a locker or somewhere, or simply dispose of them. But you have to be careful when you are disposing. The best way is to invest in a paper shredder that will make sure no further use can ever be made of the document.

Paper shredders, as the name suggests, shred the documents to fine bits so that no information on them can be readable anymore. There are two types of paper shredders.

Strip or Straight Line Paper Shredders - They cut the document into thin strips. The problem here is that some information can still be readable, and parts can be pieced together to make sense.

Crosscut Paper Shredders - This shredder cuts the document vertically as well as horizontally. So, the document is cut into very tiny square bits. It is impossible to piece them together in any way. Crosscut paper shredders cost more, but they provide greater security. Diamond cross cut shredders are considered the best. One rule of thumb to remember about shredders is this: The smaller the cuttings are, the better.

When you are investing in a paper shredder, you must bear in mind the use you are going to put them to. Home paper shredders can shred no more than 150 documents in a day. If you want a shredder for your business, you will have to invest in a more industrious one.

A paper shredder is a very important and unavoidable need of the day, when people are still using your mail and other documents to stalk you. It is a very uncomfortable feeling that your credit card and mobile phone statements are lying somewhere you are not aware of. The best thing to do is get a paper shredder and destroy these documents when they are no longer useful .
About the Author
Ryan Smith is the author of the hot, new, blog "The 10 Commandments of ID Theft Protection" Learn more at http://www.e-profitsubmissions.com/wordpress
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