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Ziszor Your Way to Identity Security

Perhaps one of the biggest security threats you face these days is that sneaky stranger who rifles through your garbage can in search of sensitive documents

Ziszor Your Way to Identity Security

Apr 16, 2008 3:03 PM

Sure, I’m as concerned
as the next guy about identity theft. Perhaps one of the biggest
security threats you face these days is that sneaky stranger who rifles
through your garbage can in search of sensitive documents. This method
of identity theft is low-tech but surprisingly successful. And if you
have a publicly accessible mailbox, you’re in real trouble.

At my house, we’ve been shredding documents for years. And we’ve gone
through several shredders in that time. We started with the typical
strip-cut shredder, which made fun strips that the kids loved to play
with but that determined bad guys could fairly easily reassemble into
vulnerable documents. We graduated to a low-price cross-cut shredder, a
noisy, jangly, bulky thing that rendered our documents into
unrecognizable confetti but broke down rather quickly under the strain
of a too-thick wad of paper one day. We’ve settled on another, more
reliable (and more expensive) cross-cut shredder, and it gets the job
done and makes us feel more secure about our garbage. But it can be a
pain to break that bulky thing out and go through the ordeal of
shredding weeks’ worth of accumulated documents.

A new handheld paper shredder called the Ziszor recently caught my eye.
I have to admit, I loved the idea of a handheld, portable shredder that
I could keep in the kitchen area—handy for immediately shredding
unwanted mail, receipts, or random sensitive documents. I obtained a
sample unit to try out over a period of a couple weeks.

The Ziszor arrived in a modest little box, and I put it together very
quickly. Impressed by its handheld size and heft (about 10″ long and
weighing less than 1.5 pounds), I was eager to try it out right away.
It’s a sleek, glossy, silver-and-red bullet-like beauty, and it fits
perfectly into the hand. I loaded it with its four included AA
batteries and affixed one of the included waste-collection catch-bags
(disposable), which fit snugly but did, unfortunately and by necessity,
diminish the “cool” factor of the Ziszor.

True to its marketing, the Ziszor is extremely easy to use, and it’s
quite convenient. For the past week, I’ve kept it in our mail drawer
and have found it handy for piece-by-piece shredding. Just feed the
document in and stab the shredding trigger! Cool! As much as I valued
the Ziszor’s easy of use, though, I did run up against some caveats.
First, the device’s paper slot accommodates only 5 sheets at a time.
That limitation is fine for receipts, but I found myself really needing
to be able to shred whole envelopes of junk mail, whose folded papers
amounted to far more than a 5-sheet width. The upshot was that for a
lot of mail, I had to open the envelope and feed the papers into the
device in small groupings. Second, even at the 5-sheet limit, the
Ziszor’s shredding action—on its battery power—was laborious.

In the end, I appreciate the idea
of the Ziszor more than its execution. There’s definite room for growth
here, and I’m wondering whether the best solution would be to also
provide an AC power pack for a big power improvement. The Zsisor’s
price, at $39.50, actually competes with the price points of larger,
more powerful shredders on the market, and it left me wanting more.
Contact the Ziszor Web site for a purchase if the device’s portability really appeals to you, and for further details.

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