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Shredding Is Not Just For Your Breakfast Cereal Any More [11/08/2006]

Shredding Is Not Just For Your Breakfast Cereal Any More

Andy Lawson

Shredded Wheat? Oh yes, I remember that wonderful cereal so good for our health. And, up until a year or two ago, I didn't think too much more about shredded anything. Ah! Too bad, those days are gone forever. Now shredding has taken on a whole new dimension and, in point of fact, every home in America should have a good paper shredder.

Why? Well, if you don't know, you haven't been listening to the news too much these days or followed one of those stories on 60 Minutes. You know the one where that nice couple in Kentucky had their identities stolen and have spent the past two years and countless dollars trying to get their lives back. It's true. Every day many hundreds of good hard working folks have some low life criminal steal their identities by dumpster diving, phishing, skimming, using the mail to defraud them, or just outright stealing their information.

We set ourselves up for this type of victimization by not being careful to destroy documents before we dispose of them in the trash. You would be very surprised to know your credit card slips, purchase receipts, credit card applications, mortgage information, and so on, provide a wealth of information for thieves. These items should always be shredded prior to throwing them out. Those pre-approved credit card applications are a disaster waiting to happen.

One of the worst things you can do is throw away a credit card before cutting it into small pieces. Better yet, you can use a shredder that will cut up credit cards, CDs, or any other heavy material you need shredded.

Now, you may be held liable if you employ someone in your own home like a nanny and that person's identity is stolen as the result of a failure on your part to properly dispose of or protect personal information. This means shredding, burning, or the use of some other secure form of disposal. The crime has become very complex.

Along with home shredders which are available at office supply stores and many other locations, you can opt to use a professional paper disposal business. This is especially true if you are running a home based business. Many professional companies will come to your residential location or some provide convenient drop off centers. If you use a service like this, make sure to research their employees for proper bonding and back ground checking.

The important thing to remember is that you can no longer trust just throwing financial information in the trash, even if it is just a mortgage loan solicitation. With the help of computers, thieves with your name and address may access much more of your personal information than you would care to have available. Remember, shred everything. Shredding isn't just about cereal any more, it about financial health and security.

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Andy Lawson and Southland shredding, a California document shredding services company, work to prevent information security issues by providing collection centers and mobile shredding services for the secure document destruction needs of Southern California companies, government offices or individual privacy protection.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andy_Lawson


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