Shredding Fail

A few years ago I blogged about the importance of using a good paper shredder. A crappy shredder is just (bad) security through obscurity, and easily leaks all kinds of info. So I was delighted and horrified to find this package show up in the mail, using shreds as packing protection for the item I had ordered.


30 seconds of searching turned up a number of interesting bits (plus a few more with full names which I have kindly omitted):

Let’s count a few of the obvious mistakes here:

  1. Using a cheap, damaged, or simply overloaded shredder that doesn’t even fully cut the paper. I got an inch-wide swath of two pages for free.
  2. Not using a cross-cut shredder. (In part, there is a mix of both types.)
  3. Shredding in the direction of the printed text.
  4. Sending the poorly-shredded output to a random person who bought something from your business.

And of course it would have been better security to use a microcut shredder.

Now, to be fair, even this poor shredding has technically done its job. Other than a few alluring snippets, it’s not worth my time to assemble the rest to see the full details of these banking, business, and health care records. But then I’m a nice guy who isn’t interested in committing fraud or identity theft, which is an unreasonable risk to assume of every customer.