Do you shred?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by emw, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I was wondering last night as I hauled out my bag of cross-cut shredded documents if anyone else here is as paranoid about that stuff as I am. I shred just about everything related to my credit card or debit card, especially anything with a Social Security number or any other prime "targets" for theft. Including all non-cash receipts. Probably even some stuff that doesn't really matter. I have a semi-professional 15-sheet shredder that does credit cards, CDs, etc., so pretty much everything goes in.

    With all the discussions on computer security, it just struck me that I'm more worried about the paper trail than I am about what could happen to my computer. So how about it - anyone else out there as bad as (or, perhaps, worse than) I am?
  2. Kernow macrumors 65816


    Sep 30, 2005
    I shred - possibly not as much as you, but definitely anything to do with bank statements, credit cards, potentially sensitive work documents etc. I think that it is far better to be safe on all fronts.

    I also find it strangely therapeutic :eek:
  3. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    Is that all that you shred? If it has my name on it I shred it. I even shred most junk mail. If I get something with a cellophane window and multiple pages, I'll toss pages 2-end, but page one, with my name is shreded. I also shred old expired insurance cards. I have a medium duty shredder, but I think I should plan on upgrading to a heavy duty.
  4. Josh macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2004
    State College, PA
    heh...I thought this thread was about snowboarding at first :p

    I shred some documents that have credit card and other account #'s, or personal info.
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    My wife and I do shred. Just about anything that has our name on it and any information that can be used against us.
    Credit card offers, mortgage offers, receipts, etc.

    We even shred medical info and the labels from prescriptions.

    Paranoid? Maybe. But I'd rather be paranoid than dealing with someone else ruining my stellar credit.

    Personally, I don't see a problem with what you're doing at all. Imagine you don't shred it and just throw it away. After it hits your trashcan, what happens to it? I doubt you know. I certainly don't. I'd rather shred than make it easy for someone.. so shred away my friend. You are making the right choice.
  6. i.Feature macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    Someone close to me was a victom of information theft... and he shreads... the RCMP up here in the GWN informed him that shreading doesn't really stop a motivated information thief as it is very easy to re-assemble documents and suggests to them that you may actually have something worth hiding... he suggested at the very least investing in a cross cutting shreader...

    So our house now cross cuts and places the remnants in different bags... yes we are paranoid. :D
  7. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I watched a bunch of "It Takes a Thief" on the Discovery channel... now I'm paranoid... :)

    I bought a very small shredder ($20 or so) and shred any mail that has my name on it.
  8. emw thread starter macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Interesting that many shred anything with your name on it - I suppose that makes some sense, as I shred credit card offers and such, but many other things that just have my name and address I don't worry about. That stuff's in a phone book.

    Of course, I've also considered getting a separate shredder to keep downstairs so it's easier to shred all of the junk mail, rather than bringing it to our office, which is on another floor. It's all about convenience... :D

    As for it being therapeutic - I'm with you on that one Kernow. Especially the credit card offers. :p

    Edit: Yes, ours is a cross-cut shredder. Everything comes out in something think 1/8" x 3/4" pieces. That would be a lot of scotch tape.
  9. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Yes, it won't stop a motivated individual at all.. the same as with passwords. However, the hope is that most people will move onto greener pastures and easy marks. There's plenty of those out there.
  10. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005


    OH MAN!
    I broke the shredder once, because I was shredding too enthusiastically.

    my dad was really mad.

    but it was shredded real good.
  11. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Hmm. I just never really considered it I guess. :p Not much credit or vested goods under my name. :eek:

    How much does a cross-shredder cost? My parents just use some cheapo er... 'normal' shredder. Think I'll let them know about getting a cross-shredder.
  12. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    True... but I guess my thought is that while the phone book has your name and address, the "piece of mail" usually has your name, address, and something to go with it. Let's say you have a catalog from Target that gets mailed to you... you throw it out and it has your name/address/and the fact that you have most likely purchased something at Target. Somebody can call up Target and using a bit of social engineering possibly get a little more information. Yeah most of the time they'll ask for more than your name and address... but it only takes one slip from a person at Target (or where ever) to make your life a pain in the butt for a bit. I would much rather tear off the name/address in the 5 seconds in takes, then have to spend hours upon hours on the phone getting things cleared up.
  13. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    My shredder is a cross shredder and it was $20 or so.
  14. mikebatho macrumors 6502a

    Jun 1, 2004
    Greater Manchester UK
    I just eat anything that comes through my door with my name on.

    I need to start checking thngs first though, I devoured some stuff that came through this morning, before realizing it was I cd I'd been waiting for from Amazon, and a free sample of fabric conditioner......
  15. CompUser Guest

    We have a 8 sheet shredder. It cuts veritcally- non cross cutting.

    Sometimes my dad would take his stuff to be shredded to work where they have this massive heavy duty shredder. It even had start and stop buttons on it as if it was some big peice of machinery.
  16. floriflee macrumors 68030


    Dec 21, 2004
    As the hubby said we shred anything with our name and address on it. He just throws other things away, but I'll often at least tear up everything else. Makes me feel a little bit more secure.
  17. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    yeah, i shred :p

    Attached Files:

  18. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    shredding is really fun, just pop it in the top and out comes lots of little bits at the bottom, so you do it again ... and again ... and again :D

    i broke our first shredder, the motor went (oops!) and i had bought it for my mum as a birthday present (how sad is that!)
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I'm too uncoordinated to shred in any sense but the putting-paper-into-a-shredder one. :eek:

    I shred financial stuff, credit card apps, etc. but not just stuff with my name on it.

    The shredded paper goes into the same garbage bag as used diapers, so I suspect it would take a determined thief to get my info.
  20. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000

    i shred everything...sure it's safer but it's fun for me since i like my machine

    when i saw the title i thought it could have been about snowboarding or playing lead guitar too fast...i was once guilty of the latter but somewhere along the line i figured out that even music on electric guitar can be artistic and "shredding" every line and phrase on an electric guitar often becomes a lot of noise devoid of emotion ;)
  21. penguinman macrumors member


    Jan 23, 2006
    yeah thats what I was gonna say.. i shred the ice and cement
  22. joker2 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2003
    DC area
    Yep, I'm with those shredding everything with a name and address on it. Most of the time though, I just tear off whatever has the name & address on it and it goes into either the newspaper bag or the "junkmail" bag and go to recycling.

    Beware magazines or catalogs: they generally have an order form or renewal order form or post card in the middle that also has your information on it!

    Credit card offers get shredded in their entirety, as do the "refinance your student loan" things.

    I've burned out two shredders, finally learned my lesson and got a heavy-duty one. Been using cross-cut ever since they got affordable. Like another posted, they'll have to be pretty determined to go through mine -- it goes in the bag with the stuff cleaned from the cat boxes.
  23. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    so as a snowboarder you scare off skiers, and as a skateboarder you scare off pedestrians

    ...and when i shredded on lead guitar, i scared off fundamentalists ;)
  24. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    Growing up on a farm, we had a very secure way of getting rid of documents. Mom would bring home the bags of shredded paper from the courthouse and Dad would use them for bedding for the hogs. No one in their right mind would even try to put those documents back together!
  25. Lau Guest

    I broke our shredder 3 days ago. :( It was one with a hand crank that cost £5 so I think it's maybe time to go electric. I also try and shred anything with my name on it, but the odd envelope probably gets through.

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