Identity theft is a growing problem in the United States. Identity theft happens when a thief takes your personal information and creates a “credit clone.” Using the credit clone, a thief can apply for credit cards, bank accounts, order items through the Internet, file for bankruptcy and more. These thieves can make your life very difficult. Repairing the damage from an identity theft is difficult and can take years to repair. If you have been a victim of identity theft, you can file a complaint through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Identity Theft Form.
Prevention is the best step in preventing this from happening to you. How do you prevent your identity from being stolen? A paper shredder is one of the most effective ways to destroy personal information. Because dumpster diving is legal, bank statements, credit card applications and more are vulnerable information. Personal information can be obtained anywhere your name, social security number, telephone number and address appear. If these types of documents are shredded, the chance of the information being stolen is eliminated.
Strip-Cut Shredders cut paper into thin strips of paper. These strips can vary in size from ½-inch to 1/16-inch, depending on the shredder. The most common strip is ¼-inch wide. 1/8-inch wide strips are also very popular. Strip cut shredders can typically cut more sheets of paper at once than a comparable cross-cut shredder because there are few blades and moving parts.
Cross-cut paper shredders cut paper into tiny pieces of paper. Cross-cut shredders are often referred to as confetti-cut shredders. These pieces of confetti paper usually vary in size from 3/8-inch x 3 1/8-inch to 1/32-inch x ½-inch. High-security paper shredders can even cut paper into smaller pieces. Cross-cut paper shredders cannot shred the same volume as strip-cut paper shredders, but the end result is much more secure.
Home-office shredders are designed for low-volume use. They are used for the occasional shredding of bills, receipts, statements and more. Home-office shredders are usually small in design and can fit next to or under a desk. Some models are referred to as “over the can” shredders, where a shredder head is placed over a wastebasket.
General office paper shredders are designed for use with small-businesses and departments. They are larger than home-office shredders, but should not be used for an entire office department. More paper is usually shredded in an office than a home. General office paper shredders are designed to accommodate this. General office paper shredders usually shred between five and 30 sheets of paper, depending on the model and style.
Departmental shredders are designed to shred more paper than one person can generate. They are used to shred the amount of paper that five to 10 people can create, depending on the model. These types of shredders are very popular in banks, with the government and offices. Departmental paper shredders usually shred between five and 60 sheets of paper, depending on the model.
Industrial paper shredders are designed to shred large volumes of paper. An industrial paper shredder can usually handle the volume of paper a company can produce. Shredders can vary from a floor model to a high-volume model that takes up a warehouse. Industrial shredders are made for continuous, daily use. Some industrial shredders will compact and turn shredded paper into a bail of paper, much like a bail of hay. Industrial shredders, depending on the model, can shred up to 11 to 450 sheets of paper at a time.
Cardboard shredders are designed to take leftover boxes, from shipping and warehouse departments, and shred them into a wafer-like material that can be recycled or re-used as packaging material. Most warehouses and shipping departments have need for some type of cardboard shredder. Un-shredded boxes can quickly take up valuable space.
Media shredders are typically used to shred CDs, diskettes, DVDs, credit cards and more. Many media shredders are multi-use and can be used to shred paper as well. These types of shredders are especially popular with the military, government and other businesses that have important and secure data stored on CDs, diskettes and more. Shredded CDs, DVDs, diskettes and credit cards cannot be read or re-used.
High-security paper shredders are reserved for the most top secret and sensitive material. High-security shredders destroy paper material into dust and tiny particles. These types of shredders are very popular with the military and government. Because documents are cut into such tiny pieces, high-security shredders are not capable of shredding large volumes of paper at once.