Be smart with your personal and professional information to ensure that it
doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. For example, the federal government
recommends shredding as one of the most effective ways to destroy confidential information before throwing it away.
Here are some tips to protect yourself from a costly security breach.
• Shred all confidential information before throwing it away.
• Check your credit report annually to track any discrepancies.
• Review your monthly credit-card and bank statements for
• Use a locked mailbox to prevent mail theft.
• Don’t keep your Social Security card in your wallet or purse.
• Limit the number of credit cards you carry in your purse or wallet.
• Never give out personal information over the telephone.
• Do not download Internet files, read e-mails or click on hyperlinks
sent by strangers.
• Use updated anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software on
• Use a secure, up-to-date Web browser that encrypts your
purchasing information. A
Selecting the right shredder
How much power do you need?
Because people tend to shred twice as much as they think
they will, they often choose an underpowered shredder and end
up frustrated by its inability to keep up with their workflow.
Choose a shredder based on sheet capacity, the amount
of paper per pass, machine speed per shred and power rating,
the amount of paper a machine can shred before the motor
needs to rest (one cycle). Though a shredder may have a high
sheet capacity per pass, it may not run very long or very fast—
which means you get little power or value for your dollar.
Consider a shredder that’s powerful enough to destroy
credit-card offers, unopened junk mail and even CDs.
What level of security do you need?
Security level is determined by cut type. A strip-cut shredder
typically slices paper into quarter-inch-wide strips. While strip
cutting is better than hand-tearing, identity thieves can still
reassemble and read your information.
Confetti-cut shredders, which cut paper into confetti particles 89 percent smaller than strip-cut shredders do, provide a
much higher level of security by making it virtually impossible to
reassemble and read your documents.
Do you have any special needs?
Because paper shredders have become more common in
businesses and households, concerns have been raised about
shredder safety. Look for brands with additional safety features
such as automatically stopping if a user comes in contact with
the paper opening.
If emptying shredded waste neatly is a problem, choose a
shredder with a pull-out bin for hassle-free waste disposal.