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Shredding Old Fax Rolls

Posted on 24 August 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

Hey Folks,

Mike here…

Do you remember those older style fax machines that had the carbon paper inside?

Well there’s a good chance that if your home or office currently does have a fax machine that it is bundled with a printer/copier. And as such, when a fax comes in it is printed using the same ink/toner cartridge used for printing or coping. So there’s a good chance you don’t have to worry about this.

(However, I just did a real quick search on Amazon and they still make really low cost fax machines that still run the carbon fax rolls.)

But, if you’ve been in business a while, you might have a stack of used fax rolls sitting around in the back storage room collecting dust.

And, since you can plainly see the contents of every fax sent on those rolls, it’s probably a pretty good idea to make sure these rolls get properly destroyed.

Here’s the rub…

The film on these fax rolls is like tissue. And if you haven’t tried it yet, try running some of this film through your office shredder. As you’ll see, you won’t get a very good result.

The problem is that the film is so thin that it contours around the blades so it won’t shred. Basically a lot of work for little or no results. Especially when you consider all the time it takes to unravel the film from the rolls. (Not a fun job if you’ve ever tried – you also get black carbon mess all over the place!)

Unfortunately, there’s no real fast way to shred these rolls…

But here’s my solution:

You have to sandwich the film between pieces of sturdy paper before running it through the shredder. Most times we use old manila or hanging folders. Or, if we have a lot of the film, we’ll get a bunch of it and place it between two cardboard file box tops.

The cardboard gives the film enough structure to be effectively shredded when passing through the shredder blades.

Our industrial shredder has no problem handling the fax film cardboard sandwich…

The bad news is that, most likely, your office shredding machine won’t be able to handle it!

Also, even down at our facility with our industrial shredders, we still have to unroll the film ensuring we get a quality shred that makes the film unreadable. (So we still get the carbon mess!)

Next time you come across some of these old fax rolls, feel free to give me a call and I’d be glad to help.

Until next time…

Keep Totally Secure,


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Neighborhood Watch – I.D. Theft Lookout

Posted on 28 July 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

“Oh, who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood?”
- Sesame Street

Hey Folks,

Unless you have young kids, it’s probably been a while since you’ve watched Sesame Street.

But, as Grouchy as Oscar is, there’s a good chance the individuals that are going through your trash are not nearly as harmless as good old Oscar the Grouch.

Even more important, the nicer the neighborhood you live in, the more valuable your trash is to those folks who like going through it.

Time and time again, I hear stories of neighborhood watches being on the lookout for individuals going through the trash bins. And let’s face facts: We’re talking about higher priced neighborhoods… and you know who you are.

It comes down to the potential value of the items you’re throwing away.

You remember the old saying: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Well there’s an extremely good chance that  a million dollar home is throwing away something that has a much higher “Treasure” value than lower priced neighborhoods.

And although it’s not a big deal for someone to take away that old lampshade you tossed out…

It is a big deal when you see that same individual pulling single sheets of paper out of your trash!

When that person is pulling out sheets of paper, smoothing them out, folding them up, and sticking them in their pocket, you can be certain that those papers are not being collected for their recycling value.

I think the inclination is to underestimate the ability of a garbage picker to use your personal data for their personal financial gain.

The thing is… Most identity fraud is still accomplished by accessing personal information through low tech methods such as someone going through your trash, giving your ATM PIN to a close friend or family member, or just leaving sensitive information lying around your home or office where someone can easily access it.

ID Fraud is often a crime of open opportunity and not necessarily that of hardened criminals. Don’t get me wrong… there are professional, high tech, I.D. Theft Criminals who are out to separate you from your money.

But for folks going through tough times, an old canceled check is an opportunity just waiting to be taken advantage of.

Your best option is to reduce and eliminate these opportunities for those who may want to take advantage of them.

Make sure to properly destroy sensitive personal information, either on paper or electronic, before disposal. And when in doubt, your best bet is to ensure proper destruction instead of taking the risk.

This is truly a time when an “Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.”

Keep an eye on my blog in the next few days as I’ll be putting out a list of 10 items you can do to protect your identity.

Until then…

Keep Totally Secure,


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Time to Hire a Paper Shredding Company

Posted on 22 July 2010 by Total Secure Shredding

If There’s no PAIN

There’s no GAIN.

What’s Your P.I.T.A. Factor?

Hey Folks…

Mike here.

I often run into people who ask the following…

“I didn’t even know there were such things as shredding companies… Do you have a lot of competition?”

The direct answer is YES… There are quite a few paper shredding companies you can choose from. (Anyone that does a Google search for paper shredding can easily witness this fact!)

However, what’s even more important (at least to me), is the first part of that question: “I didn’t even know that there were such things as shredding companies…”

For the most part, the reason someone would say this, is that they’ve never had any reason to consider the need for a professional paper shredding company.

  1. They don’t realize that I.D. Fraud can happen to them and consequently they don’t shred anything;
  2. Or, they don’t have that much to shred and their $50.00 home paper shredder works perfectly for the couple of sheets they do have to shred every week.

I won’t go into group 1. (If they’re not worried about I.D. Fraud and are not shredding… There’s a good chance they won’t be on this website anyway!)

So if you’re in the second group, the question is: When should you consider a professional shredding company?

This differs from person to person, but basically, but it comes down to your individual P.I.T.A. Factor (Pain In The Ass Factor).

If you’re like me, I don’t sort out my mail every day and let it stack up. After a few months, I usually have a pretty good pile sitting on the kitchen counter and the subsequent shredding job exceeds my own personal P.I.T.A. Factor. Fortunately for me, I get to bring the pile to work.

My Dad on the other hand, doesn’t understand why anyone would need to bring their things to a paper shredding company. (Thanks Dad!) He carefully goes through his mail every day; sorts out the stuff that can just be thrown away, and then proceeds to shred the important stuff. This process nowhere touches his P.I.T.A. Factor… actually… he kind of seems to like doing it!

So in the end, when you’re looking at your stack of stuff that needs to be shredded, and you say to yourself, “This is going to be a real PAIN!”, then at that point you know you’ve hit your P.I.T.A. Factor.

It might be just a handful of paper or it could be a mountain of boxes that have been sitting around in storage since the 20th Century!

Only you can decide whether the PAIN of your individual shredding project exceeds the cost of having someone else do it.

If you’re starting to hit your Paper Shredding P.I.T.A Factor, set your mind at ease, there’s a quick, convenient, easy, and affordable option available to you.

Until next time…

Keep Totally Secure,


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