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Personal documents are a part of life that are not going to be going anywhere soon. Most documents contain personal information such as addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers or even bank account numbers. If this type of information got into the wrong hands, then you could be at risk for a stolen identity. Having to fix this will not only take time and effort, but it can damage your credit and bring you lots of headaches. Taking all precautions to protect yourself is the best way to guarantee that your identity will not be stolen.
Since it is inevitable that you will have some documents that have your personal information on it, then finding a way to destroy the confidential documents is the number one most important thing. The best way to do so is by purchasing a paper shredder. However, not all paper shredders are the same. Some provide more security protection than others. The key to getting the best security is in the cutters.
There are three different types of cutters that can come on paper shredders. Strip cut shredders will shred the documents into strips that are the length of the paper and approximately ½ inch wide. This is perfect for bills and documents that do not contain too much personal information. Cross Cut paper shredder will give you a little more protection. This type of cutter will shred the paper into strips that are approximately ½ inch wide and 2 inches long. Finally, for the most security you want to get a micro cut paper shredder. This cutter will shred the paper into micro-sized pieces, making it nearly impossibly to read any information that was posted on the documents.
Another thing that can lead to a stolen identity is credit cards. If you have old, expired credit cards lying around, anybody could get your personal information from them. The best way to prevent this from happening is to get rid of the credit cards when you no longer use them. Cutting them up with scissor will only give you a little protection. The best way to guarantee they will not wind up in the wrong hands is to send them through a paper shredder. Not all paper shredders are compatible with credit cards, so be sure that they are before putting the card in it. Like with documents, the size of the cutter will determine the amount of privacy.
Many paper shredders can also cut through CDs and DVDs. Since a lot of people store personal information on this type of technology, having a way to destroy them is great for keep your privacy. Since stolen identities are becoming more common, it is important to protect your privacy. If you destroy all of your private information with a paper shredder, you will definitely not be at risk for a stolen identity.
Paper shredders offer a specific level of security. There are six different levels that provide a specific amount of security. Some levels offer a lot of security, while others offer only the minimal security. Making sure you have the level that best suits your needs is important for protecting yourself and your business.
Strip-cut shredders are the least secure and range from level 1 to level 3. The level 1 strip-cut shredders will make strips of paper that are 12 mm by 40 mm. This is ideal for people that do not have a lot of confidential documents and do not need a lot of protection. The level 2 strips are 6 mm by 40 mm and the level 3 are 2 mm by 40 mm. Although they are more secure then level 1, they are still not ideal for deeply sensitive material.
Cross-cut shredders are a great alternative for extra security protection. They all come in security level four. The shredder cuts the paper into shreds of paper that are 2 mm by 15 mm. It is ideal for confidential documents and sensitive material. Bills, employment documents, medical information and private correspondences should be shredded with a minimum of a level 4 security level shredder.
Finally, micro-cut shredders provide the best security and protection. They come in two different security levels, 5 and 6. The level 5 shredders cut shreds that are .8 mm by 12 mm and the level 6 are .8 mm by 4 mm. This type of shredder is ideal for banking documents and other documents that contain private information such as social security numbers, banking information and license information.
Using the correct paper shredder for you needs will not only guarantee your protection, but will also give you the piece of mind that your information is not going to end up in the wrong hands.
1) Continuous Run Time:
The most important attributes when you are shopping for a paper shredder is not just the sheet capacity, but the continuous run time, which is the duration of non-stop shredding prior to overheating. When a shredder overheats you will likely wait 30-60 minutes before it can restart again. This run time rating is not always shown on some paper shredder descriptions. The longer the run time, the better and more expensive the motor is and therefore more durable. Better shredders will have a run time of 8 mins or more. Some shredders are called heavy duty and can have a run time of 15 mins or more.
2) Quiet Operation:
Secondly, look for a quiet motor that runs <58db or less. This means the motor is using an induction motor and not a universal motor that is used by shredders that are louder. Most smaller, light duty shredders will use a universal motor because it's less expensive and lighter than induction motors. The larger capacity shredders may use either motor types. You can also tell by the weight of the shredders since induction will weigh almost twice as much as a universal motor.
3) Shred Speed:
A faster speed is important not because it can shred paper faster, but it means that the components are made of more durable parts. A speed of 7.5 ft/min or more is a decent rating.
4) Shred or Cut Type:
There are many types of cutters out there and they can be confusing to most. There are really just 3 types of cutters in the market, but some have alternative names. The 3 types of cuts are strip cut, cross cut and micro cut. Strip or straight cut means the blade makes a thin straight cut from top to bottom of a sheet of paper. Cross cut means the blade can make cross section cuts along a strip of paper. This is also called confetti cut because the cross sections resemble confetti. Diamond cut is another name for this, but it's trademarked and the shredded paper resemble diamond shapes.
5) Shred Size and Security Level:
Although there are only 3 shred types, there isn't really an industry standard that is regulating what the shred sizes are for each type. Shred size is the final shredded paper size that falls into the waste bin. Every manufacturer seems to have their own standards and sizes. The smaller the cut size the higher the security level.
Auto Start and Stop, Reverse mode are must-have features. Some shredders have auto stop when a jam is detected. This helps prevent the motor from grinding further and strip the gears. The better shredders will have warning indicators to let you know the bin is opened and overheat detection.
Things to look for when shopping around for a paper shredder:
Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
I hope this helped!
Paper Shredder Reviewer
Paper shredders come in handy for many different reasons. The first, and most important, is privacy and protection. However, there are many other reasons that people use paper shredders. Getting rid of clutter and excess paper is an excellent example of why a paper shredder comes in handy. Another great reason is to recycle any unwanted paper that you may have. You may be thinking “How can you possibly recycle paper that has been shredded to small strips?” Well the answer is very simple, by using the paper shreddings to your advantage. These five uses for a paper shredder are reason enough to start saving your paper shreddings.
1. Pet Beds- The pet beds that you purchase in the store, don’t always last very long. Most of them are simply fabrics covers over Styrofoam beads. After awhile, the beads become flattened and therefore the bed is no longer comfortable for your pets. When this happens, you could be stuck sharing your bed with some uninvited guests. Instead of having sleepless nights, stuff the pet bed cover with your leftover paper shreddings. They will provide a thick and comfortable bed for your pet without you losing yours.
2. Fire Starter- Do you enjoy going camping? Or even just sitting by a fire? Then use your paper shreddings to get the fire started quickly.It is safe and a cheaper alternative to purchasing the fire starting logs.
3. Packaging Material- We all have to mail packages at some point and everyone has experienced a box that was too big for the items it carried. To protect the items from getting damaged while shipping, fill the empty space with paper shreddings. They will not only fill up any unused space, but will also create a barrier from any unwanted damage.
4. Gift Bags- Don’t waste your money on tissue paper, use the shreddings from your paper shredderinstead. It is not only practical, but it gives your present a unique flair.
5. Compost- Add the paper shreddings to your compost to help your plants grow. This is especially helpful for greens.
So the next time you shred all of your confidential documents, think twice before emptying the waste basket. Those paper shreddings could definitely come in handy.
Why buy a paper shredder?
According to the Federal Trade Association (FTA), an estimated 9 million Americans have their identities stolen every year. With the holidays around the corner, it's more important than ever to protect your personal and financial information. Identity thieves still rely on the most common and cheapest way to steal your information - digging through your trash and grabbing papers such as old credit card statements, expired credit cards, bills, check stubs, pay stubs, and even something as innocuous as a birthday card. Even with today's threat of fraud happening at an alarming rate, many people still throw away their old documents without thinking twice.
Credit card offers increase dramatically around the holidays, as these institutions hope to gain more profit by tempting people with preapproved credit limits. Such applications are rampant at this time, and thieves know this. If your identity and information gets stolen, the thief can use it to make an exorbitant amount of orders online, and have them shipped to their address instead of theirs.
Take the proper steps to protect yourself, your identity and your finances - not just around the holidays, but all year around. What is the easiest way to do so? Simply invest in a quality paper shredder. Not enough consumers do the proper research to find the best paper shredder for their needs. While it's common for businesses and corporations to use shredders, every home should have one. A small investment now will pay off in huge dividends when you realize you've cut the easiest rope thieves can climb to find out who you are.
First, you'll need to determine what a thief would need to steal your identity. Here's a condensed list:
• Your name
• Mailing/billing address
• Date of birth
• Mother's maiden name
• Social security number
• Account numbers (bank, credit card, etc)
• PIN numbers and passwords
As you may have guessed, your social security number is target number one - the skeleton key to your identity and who you are on paper. You'll want to make absolutely sure any document that reveals your social security number, even partly, is completely destroyed.
How do you find the best shredder for the highest security possible?
Paper shredders come in three shred types - strip-cut, cross-cut and micro-cut. Strip-cut shredders do just that - they cut paper into strips, and are the most commonly found because of their economic value. However, leaving your documents in even sized strips are not enough. A patient thief will simply put the pieces together and use it to find your account numbers, or use the "junk mail" for yet another preapproved credit card offer to get one made and sent directly to their door. You'll want something much more intricate. Cross-cut shredders cut your documents into crisscross, diagonal pieces, and make it impossible to piece back together. Micro-cut shredders cut the pieces even smaller and are most often used for highly sensitive data in hospitals and government offices. A cross-cut or micro-cut shredder is the best choice for anyone to use at home.
There are shredders that allow you to shred multiple papers at once, and even with blades that can safely cut credit cards and CDs. Investing in a shredder that does all three is ideal, since it'll effortlessly cover old statements, old, expired credit cards, or CDs that might have incriminating information. Very few, if any thieves will spend the time it'd take to put together several hundred pieces of a document when they could just move on to an easier target. Make life difficult for them, and ensure the padlock is on yours.
Profect against identity theft with a paper shredder while doing your 2012 taxes
It’s almost time to file your taxes! In the United States, tax return season runs from January 1 – April 15 in 2013. Be prepared and protect your identity during this crucial time by shredding sensitive documents while filing your tax returns. Even if you believe your past paperwork is too old, outdated or insignificant, any personal information that ties back to your identity can be used by thieves. W2 forms, specific tax related forms such as 1040 or 1040A, and any other receipts, statements, and invoices have your personal information and should be eliminated after filing.
Your name, address, social security number and income numbers are plainly displayed and should only be viewed by authorized personnel, such as the IRS. Identity thieves know that this is a prime time to collect your information and up their efforts to rummage trash for old forms, receipts and invoices. This is the best time to shred all of your financial or personal information and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
You were probably saving your pay stubs, receipts and statements all year in preparation for your taxes. While you’re collecting the previous year’s paperwork, why not use the time to shred older papers and documents you may have stored away? You will likely bring up your storage of old documents, statements, invoices and forms from past filing seasons.
There are many benefits to shredding your old documents while doing your taxes:
The IRS suggests keeping documents that support your tax returns for at least three years in the event of an unexpected audit. However, if you’re absolutely sure the threat of an audit has passed, or you’re confident that you’ve done your taxes accurately and reported all income, keep a copy of that year’s tax return and shred everything you used to reference the return.
ATM receipts, credit card statements, business invoices, write-offs, paycheck stubs, bank statements, investment records, insurance policies and big purchase warranties can all be safely shredded after you no longer need the information for that year’s filing.
These days, you do not need paper versions of your receipts and forms. The IRS accepts electronic versions, so scan what you need and keep them safe in a USB flash drive or another secure virtual storage box. Banks offer online statements, and you can download applications directly from the IRS’ website if necessary.
In the event your house is destroyed, having digital backups become invaluable, and when kept off-site (such as with a trusted party out of state or in a safety deposit box) you have little fear of your information being intercepted or simply picked apart with a paper trail.
Documents that do require a paper version include birth, death and marriage certificates, documents related to home ownership, wills, powers of attorney, business agreements, and divorce or child care orders, to name a few. Do not make additional paper copies – however, if you do, make sure the copies are shredded as soon as you don’t need them. Tax season is a good time to look over what can be safely disposed.
Ensure your personal and financial information’s security and use a high quality micro-cut or cross-cut shredder right after filing your taxes. Micro-cut and cross-cut shredders cut paper into multiple pieces, rendering it impossible for a thief to re-assemble. Keep one at home and well-maintained for years of security and protection from identity theft. Unclutter your space, save time and gain peace of mind this tax season with a smart investment on a quality paper shredder.