With vacations and holiday fun just over, you no doubt have plenty of credit card receipts to peruse through and keep track of. Traveling and gift purchases could potentially open the way for culprits to steal personal credit card information. Taking a few essential steps before and while traveling will protect you and avoid any stressful situations. Here are a few tips I received from Fellowes. Take out your garbage, limit online banking, keep your wallet light, and put a hold on your mail, just to name a few.
As I pondered and absorbed these tips, it got me thinking. We get so lax and nonchalant, not only when traveling, but even with personal information in our home. Safeguarding and destroying old personal documents, receipts, bills, and statements are essential if we wish to avoid being a victim of identity theft.
One of the best ways to destroy outdated paperwork is to shred it. I have a really, really old shredder that only shreds one page at a time and overheats after 6 pages have been shredded. Wow, have shredders come a long way and Fellowes is paving the way for us to protect ourselves, our family, and our home with a plethora of different shredders.
I received the sleek and streamlined Fellowes Powershred P-12C Shredder and I’m thrilled with the power and attributes this amazing machine offers. So, what can this hot little number do?
It will crosscut up to 12 pages at once, and will also shred small paper clips, staples, and even credit cards. It will run up to 5 minutes before automatically shutting off to cool down, it’s suggested you wait another 20 minutes before proceeding with more shredding. It has a built-in safety sensor that will automatically disable the shredder if it senses your hands are too close to the paper opening. There is also a safety lock feature, which prevents the shredder from operating even if it’s on the ‘on’ position. These features are so important, especially if you have children or pets in your home. If the shredder stops, a light indicator will show you the reason for the automatic shut off.
It’s incredibly easy to use. You don’t have to assemble any parts or read a complicated manual. You simply turn the shredder on, put the paper you want to be shredded in the opening, and it disappears into the waste catcher below.
The shredding bin pulls out smoothly for easy and swift disposal. There’s a small window on the draw that indicates how full the bin is and is ideal for a quick reference.
As you can see, the bin has a large capacity so you can destroy a lot of paperwork, up to four gallons, in no time. I also want to mention that compared to other shredders, the Fellowes P-12C is remarkably quiet. I always found with my old shredder, I had to do shredding in the garage away from the family because of its irritating whiny/whistle sound. Now, I’m able to shred in my office with no issues.
There are a few important maintenance points that we need to be aware of. This shredder will require oil for peak performance and it’s recommended we oil the shredder after each time we empty the waste bin. From time to time the paper detection sensors can become blocked from paper dust, using a cotton swab to wipe away contamination may be necessary.
As I sit here and look at all the old bills and important documents that have been shredded, I feel a sense of relief. They’ve been sitting in a drawer for about 10 years or so and now no one can have access to them. One of my biggest pet peeves is the deluge of junk mail I get. I don’t know how many credit cards sign up forms I’ve gotten over the years, regardless of my pleas with the company to stop sending them. These forms are so vitally important to shred, cutting them up is time-consuming and perhaps some of us might not even bother.
What documents should be shred? Here’s a Top 10 List that Fellowes provided me with and I’m checking them off and I shred them.
1. Monthly Credit Card Statements
2. Employment Paystubs – keep them only until you receive your annual wage and tax statement
3. Personal Income Tax Reports – keep in a safe place for 6 yrs
4. Monthly Utility Bills – includes hydro to cable bill
5. Spam Mail – and junk mail, can contain sign up forms
6. Federal, Provincial or Municipal Government Documents – eg. health cards, driver’s licence, passports, even school registration forms
7. Express Mail Documents – UPS, FedEx, or Canada Post Express letters and labels
8. Membership Notices – Library, fitness club, any organization
9. Banking Documents – statements, bank account booklets, old unused checks, etc.
10. Miscellaneous Documents – any documents you receive or possess that contain usernames and passwords.
Identity theft is rampant and everyone is a potential victim if we aren’t on top of securing our personal information. Having a high-quality Fellowes Shredder will quickly and safely reduce this threat. They carry a wide variety of shredders for personal, home office, all the way to the corporate world. Swing by and check them out.
Disclaimer: I received product to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.