Lewis, Peter
May 2005
Fortune;5/2/2005, Vol. 151 Issue 9, p36
The article mentions how companies mishandle personal data and recommends using a paper shredder at home. Last year, according to a Better Business Bureau report, more than nine million Americans were victims of identity theft. Security experts say that, contrary to popular belief, the majority of identity-theft cases do not involve criminal computer masterminds. More commonly the modi operandi involve Dumpster-diving--going through trash cans for discarded bank statements, preapproved credit card solicitations, old bills, computer printouts, and other financially revealing documents--or the telephone, scamming gullible people into revealing their bank-account or Social Security numbers and passwords. Using a shredder certainly won't protect you from all the risks of ID theft, but it's something tangible you can do while waiting for Congress to address the issue. When shopping for a shredder, it's worth paying extra for a durable cross-cut or confetti-cut model. Higher-end shredders also have better safety features, like auto reverse and motors that shut down before overheating. The Royal 1280mx ($130) converts up to 12 sheets at a time to confetti. Norton Internet Security 2005 ($70) can help guard your Windows-based PC against known viruses, spyware, and Trojan Horse programs, which can capture your passwords and user IDs and smuggle them back to the hackers.


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