WT8P's Notes to Self
Writing things down so I don't forget
isn’t good enough.
Once upon a time, many, many years ago, I put an important original through a strip-cut shredder at work. It took me about an hour of trial-and-error, but I was able to completely restore the document, fishing enough of the 1/8″ strips from the bag and taping them all together. It is a tedious job, but easily do-able, especially if you are motivated enough!
Funny that you should mention this. I recently got an odd piece of mail in the mailbox. It was from a catalog mail order company saying that the “enclosed convenience check was not accepted for your order.”
The check was stolen from my mailbox. I know because I always tear up credit card things that come to my house.
The person ripped off a catalog from a person in my same zip code, crossed out their address which was preprinted and penned in their own. Then they took my convenience check and forged my signature, to the tune of $400.
$400 worth of size 11 shoes and size 5x clothing. Bastards! (can I say that on TV???)
Called the cops. They were not sure what to do, but decided to “give it to the postal inspector”. LOL Whatever.
Many years ago, I worked for what was then Seafirst Bank, now Bank of America. One day a janitor at the one of our check processing facilites dumped a cart of waste paper into the shredder. Unfortunately it was unprocessed checks, thousands of them. They took the shredded mass out to a rented (ex-military)aircrtaft hangar and hired a bunch of college students to sort and assemble the checks. It only took about three months. They figure they got about 60% saved. The unsaved ones … we could not charge them against a customers account. Big bucks lost.
Here was a followup to Rob’s article on MSN . Of course Chase is denying any culpability.
A strip cut shredder is better than just tearing them up; a cross-cut shredder is good; a diamond cut shredder is the best.
None of that, though, will protect you against card processing companies who sell your info to the highest bidder, or, stupider yet, don’t have decent firewalls. I’m just waiting for the day when we all have a data chip embedded in our hands and we just need to wave under the sensor to pay for stuff. It’s coming faster than we think.
I’m not waiting for that day! I’d rather someone steal my mail than cut off my hands.
I like my hands.
DUH! You don’t need a fancy shredder, you just don’t put the torn up stuff in the same bin all at one time. We’ve been doing puzzles since we were kids. Anyone who thinkgs that would work is ridiculous. I put half in the recycling and half in the trash and I always make sure account numbers are torn through. In the winter I use it as fuel for the fire place.
I have a small (desktop-sized) cross-cut shredder from Target, and I use it for anything that someone could potentially steal something from me with. Works great, and although I sorta figured having it was borderline-paranoia, this article proves me wrong.
That is what I do Betty. I have three trash bins that I use to spearate out my shredded material. And then burn it in the winter. I need to show this to dh..he thinks I am crazy..lol
I good long spritz from the kitchen sprayer in the bag of shreddings is my M.O. Renders the shreddings into mush. I do it just before taking out the trash.
Very cool idea – thanks, Jeff.
Putting trash in 2 seperate bins helps, but also remember, once you put your trash cans out on the sidewalk or strett, it is no longer your property. It is completely legal for someone to go and take your trash. Some people even take extra trash along with them and several kinds of trash bags. This way once they take your trash, they replace it with the trash they brought along with them, using the same color bag they brought. You may never notice that your trash was taken. They then have all they time in the world to do the puzzle and put your shredded info back together. My recommedation would be this: 1) Get a diamond cut shredder, 2) When you are ready to dump the shredder contents, dump only half of it one week putting 1/2 in the trash and 1/2 in the recycle bin, 3) Then the next week, put the remaining shredded trash out the same way. Other things you may want to do is put half in your trash and half in a neighbors bin or a trash bin at a store or mall. To go even more extreme, be sure to mix up the shredded trash before you dump it, keep a handful to use as stuffing in boxes or burn in a fireplace or something. Yes extremem, but if you think someone is getting your info, it may help deter them or at least slow them down.
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