Chances are that you know people who have had their identity stolen, and you may even be a victim yourself. Garbage, by law, is considered unprotected and is vulnerable to dumpster divers and thieves. Receipts, mail, credit cards and other forms of personal information are just a few of the items that could be stolen. Thieves can take personal information from a receipt, credit card statement, bank printout and other sources to open a bank account in your name, create forged checks, apply for credit cards, file for bankruptcy and more.
One of the most effective ways to destroy your personal information is by using a paper shredder. The most common type of shredder used to be the strip-cut. These were the most popular type of shredder during the late 90’s. Cross-cut paper shredders have since grown in popularity. People have since discovered that the ¼-inch strips from the strip-cut shredder, although difficult, can still be re-assembled. Cross-cut, or confetti-cut, shredders make it next to impossible to reassemble shredded documents.
No matter what kind of shredder you use, using any kind of shredder is still better than not shredding at all. The Federal Trade Commission states, “To thwart a thief who may pick through your trash or recycling bins to capture your personal information, tear or shred your charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired credit or charge cards that you’re discarding, and credit offers you get in the mail.”