Go Buy A Shredder Right Now

A shredder is an indispensable tool for keeping your identity safe and secure. If you receive credit card offers or have old bank statements littering your files, then you can’t do without a cross-cutting shredder to slice and dice your personal information into an indecipherable medley of confetti. Frugal For Life points out a few of the many reasons we all should be devout shredders.

I was reading some different articles about shredding paper while I was doing research into the type of paper shredder I had wanted to buy. It seems that the range in percentage of people who use a paper shredder are between 18% – 51%. That’s a lot of people who don’t shred paper and are susceptible to identity fraud.

I haven’t had that happen yet, thankfully. But reading the stories in the paper or seeing news on TV definitely makes me aware that I don’t want to be part of that club.

Since dumpster diving is perfectly legal in most areas of the country, you don’t want your information floating around that is easily read. I will qualify this by saying that the majority of dumpster divers (like myself) are honest people and wouldn’t even consider a crime of that nature. However it is the small percentage that always seems to ruin things for everyone and make life difficult.

Cross-cutting action is key. Committed identity thieves can piece together strip-shredded documents, and credit card companies readily accept torn applications.

Shredding can also be productive and fun. Instead of throwing out shredder leavings, use them as packing material, pet beds, or makeshift confetti for impromptu ticker-tape parades. If you don’t want a shredder at home, use one in the office. If you have kids, consider a hamster-powered shredder. Just get a shredder. And resist the urge to shred the instructions.

Buy a Shredder [Frugal For Life]
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.