These days, stories about identity theft are a dime a dozen.
It seems like everyone knows someone with a horror story about finding out credit cards, loans, even mortgages had been opened in their name. While there are lots of fancy, expensive services you can sign up for to help you prevent this from happening to you, one of the most effective things you can do is easy and don’t cost you an arm and a leg – shred your personal information.
Personal identity thieves have a special name for that day of the week when you haul your cans of trash to the curb.
No, they don’t call it trash day – they call it cash day. That’s because they know they can travel around, dig through people’s trash, and find a ton of personal information people have thrown out in the form of expired credit cards, pay stubs, utility bills, insurance claim information, those credit card checks they just keep sending, and so many other papers that just get tossed in the trash without a second thought.
Shredding these types of personal documents is the easiest way to make sure that no one gets their hands on them and uses them to become, well, you. Just ripping a paper up is not enough, as thieves will happily spend the time putting these money making jigsaw puzzles back together. Most security experts recommend not only shredding sensitive information, but going so far as to cross cut it.
So why do so many people take the chance by just throwing their personal papers, cards, and statements away?
I asked around and got two answers over and over again. 1) It takes too much time to shred stuff and 2) I had a shredder and it broke/burned out/stopped working. I bought another one and the same thing happened again. To which I reply – you bought the wrong shredder!! We too went through a number of shredders with very short lifespans. And then we received a Fellowes shredder and our whole perspective changed.
First, it doesn’t have to take a long time to shred. The Fellowes M-12C shredder can handle up to 12 sheets of paper per pass. Shredding takes a lot less time when you don’t have to feed the papers in one at a time. Plus, you can shred for a solid five minutes before needing to give the shredder a break to cool down. And you don’t even have to stop and take out the paper clips or staples! They go right through. My favorite time saving technique is to hire my kiddo to do my shredding. With the SafeSense safety features on the Fellowes M-12C, all shredding stops when hands touch the paper opening, so I don’t have to worry about any injuries.
Second, if you’ve never experienced a Fellowes shredder before, let me tell you something. These things are workhorses!! We got our first Fellowes shredder four years ago and the thing is still going strong. (I did get a little sick of lugging it up and down the stairs, so I am loving having a second on the first floor.)
Available at Target for just $99, the Fellowes M-12C makes a great Christmas gift. No, it may not be the most romantic gift, but protecting someone’s identity and saving them from crooks? That’s the stuff of superheros!!