In an era defined by digital advancements, the threat of identity theft looms larger than ever before. While it is still an uncommon occurrence for most of us, we should still be wary, as all it takes is a moment of carelessness for our personal data to be stolen and leaked online, resulting in severe consequences, such as financial loss and legal troubles. As far as information on paper is concerned, it would be highly beneficial for every household to get a shredder machine to minimise the risk of identity theft. Let’s take a closer look at the potential consequences of identity theft and how shredding can protect you against it.
Key Repercussions of Identity Theft
Imagine losing all the money you’ve painstakingly saved up over the years—that’s what identity theft could do to you. Cybercriminals who gain access to personal information could exploit it to empty bank accounts, make unauthorised transactions, or open new credit lines in the victim’s name. While there are more measures in place to stop these fraudulent transactions from taking place, prevention is always better than cure. Having a document shredder at home allows you to destroy sensitive information before it inadvertently falls into the wrong hands. It is certainly less time-consuming than going through a painstaking process of recovering stolen funds and rectifying financial records.
It’s safe to assume that stolen information would often be used to commit crimes and therefore implicate innocent victims. Clearing your name in these situations could take a significant amount of time, resources, and legal assistance; not to mention, the physical and mental toll this could have on you.
Damaged Credit Scores
Your credit score is an important accreditation that affects your ability to secure loans, apply for credit lines, and lower interest rates. A compromised identity will often result in unauthorised credit applications and transactions that can jeopardise your credit score. Fixing it is difficult and takes time, impeding your ability to make major financial decisions like buying a house or car.
As mentioned earlier, the consequences of identity theft go beyond financial damage; victims also experience great anxiety, stress, and a sense of violation. Rebuilding that sense of security, as well as erasing the resulting trauma can be an arduous journey. To prevent such mental distress, ensure that your personal documents are promptly put through a paper shredder when they’re no longer needed.
Shredding as an Effective Preventive Measure
Prevents Dumpster Diving
One of the most common ways identity thieves gain access to personal information is through dumpster diving—going through mounds of trash in hopes of retrieving discarded documents that contain sensitive information, such as bank statements, bills, or medical records. These are a goldmine for criminals. Shredding documents with a shredder machine renders them unreadable, and therefore worthless to identity thieves.
Hinders Data Reconstruction
Some identity thieves, however, are desperate—and resourceful—enough to piece together shredded documents if they are not thoroughly destroyed. Investing in a cross-cut or micro-cut document shredder ensures that documents are properly disintegrated, making reconstruction nearly impossible.
Eliminates Personal Identifiers
Documents often carry personal identifiers, such as names, addresses, contact information, and so on. These are all bits of information that make it easier for criminals to steal your identity. As an extra precaution, we recommend shredding those documents with a paper shredder to prevent identity thieves from grabbing hold of them.
Protects Financial Information
Bank statements, credit card statements, and financial documents are prime targets for identity thieves, so make it a point to regularly shred these documents to safeguard sensitive financial information. This prevents unauthorised access and potential exploitation.
Choosing the right paper shredder for your household is just as important as making the effort to shred sensitive documents. Here at Neosys, we offer a wide range of cutting-edge cross-cut and micro-cut shredder machines that are able to thoroughly destroy these documents beyond recognition, ensuring that your identities remain where they belong—in your hands only.
To learn more about our paper shredders and their features, contact us today.