There’s a lot of bad out there, but one of the things I fear most is “identity theft.” It’s scary to imagine; one minute you have everything…your social security number, your credit, your “life on paper” (so to speak), and the next thing you know—POOF—it’s ALL gone. Just like that and in an instant, everything you worked so hard to have and earn is no longer present. I just cringe at the thought.
Lucky for me, I have a smart cookie for a husband. He’s always been a stickler for shredding everything; papers, mail, and even flyers. If it has any inkling of information on it (name, address, account info, etc.), it’s torn to pieces before being thrown away. Even grocery receipts get ripped to pieces. We do this not because we’re “that scared”… well, we are, but we do this more because we know how important it is to keep safe from, what could be, a potentially devastating experience. I don’t know what I’d do if this ever happened to us (knock on wood; I pray that it never does).
While it’s always good to pray that these things never happen, it’s also wise to take preventative actions to keep it from happening to you.
I have some interesting ‘preventative’ tips to help you during this year’s tax season. These were shared with me, by Fellowes, to help keep my family safe, and I’d like to pass them onto you.
Fellowes, Inc. recognizes the importance of minimizing risk of identity theft, one of the nation’s fastest growing crimes. As a result, Fellowes developed the following safety tips to help you protect your family from identity theft, both during tax season and throughout the year:
- UPDATE personal computers with firewalls and security software, including antivirus programs.
- CONTACT THE IRS (800-829-1040) if you do not receive W-2 forms and other sensitive information by February 15th, as this may indicate that an identity thief intercepted such documents.
- SEND TAX RETURNS from a locked mailbox/post office to ensure thieves cannot get to it before the postal service.
- IF SENDING IN TAX FORMS VIA POST MAIL, make sure all forms, identification documents and enclosed checks are not visible from the outside. Try wrapping everything in an extra sheet of paper to disguise its contents.
- KEEP TAX PAPERWORK and other documents in a safe and accessible place, such as a fireproof box.
- AFTER FILING TAXES, shred any backup documents with a Cross-Cut paper shredder, like Fellowes’ P-12C, which is essential because it shreds a single sheet of paper into hundreds of tiny particles to ensure confidential information is destroyed beyond recognition.
I was also given an opportunity to try the P-12C Shredder from Fellowes and I just have to say, this baby is amazing! It shreds everything from CDs and DVDs to credit cards and staples. It even has the ability to shred up to 12 sheets of paper at one time. Oh, and with young kids at home (ones that love to get in and help with everything), I absolutely love how it features their patented SafeSense® technology; which means the machine will stop immediately when hands and/or large pets come too close to the paper opening (no “lost finger” worries for me).
We’ve owned and gone through shredders before—many times over, and don’t get me wrong…we were never disappointed with any of them, they did their job. But now that we have the Fellowes P-12C shredder, I’m 100% happier with the level of protection we’ve been given. This shredder is awesome. Check out some of my pictures…
We shredded papers for a long time; the day we received our shredder. I was so pumped about using the shredder that I went in search of papers to get rid of. It was a lot of fun. I even managed to do away with some documents that had been sitting around from decades past (stuff I was afraid to get rid of before).
The girls had a blast helping me. I wasn’t even scared if they got too close to the shredder because: if their fingers got too close to the opening, it’d stop shredding. If the door to the shredded paper was even slightly opened, the shredder wouldn’t run. I’m telling you. The safety features were so good that I was able to leave the room in search of other papers, while they shredded, without fearing the worst (screams of terror). Now, I wouldn’t recommend leaving kids alone for too long, no matter what their age. Mine were still close by (within eyesight) at all times. I even went over some serious rules with them before they were allowed to get within 10 feet of the machine.
With their help; by the time we were done, we had two trash bags full of shredded paper. The good thing about this is; in time, all that paper can be used as packing paper (if we ever buy a house; finger’s crossed).
Hub and I love everything about this shredder. The safety feature, the crosscutting feature, the color, the stoutness, the look…everything is perfect. It’s small enough to fit underneath your computer desk yet big enough, in power, to get the job done.
If you’re looking to purchase a shredder in the near future; I recommend the Fellowes P-12C shredder. For us, it’s most definitely a ‘brag-worthy’ piece of machinery to have about.
The Fellowes P-12C shredder sells for $89.99 @ Target and target.com
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a Mom Central Consulting blog tour on behalf of Fellowes. I received a Fellowes paper shredder to facilitate my review