There are a lot of electronic ways that one’s identity can be stolen in 2019, but the old-fashioned “dig through the trash to find a piece of mail with personal information on it” method is still a threat, too. It’s no secret that you should destroy any documents that feature your social security number before throwing them out. But even when it comes to plain ol’ mail sans social security number, I still feel weird about cavalierly tossing it, especially when it prominently features my name, address, and/or any other personal information.
There’s really no definitive way to know how many eyes may or may not be scoping out your discarded mail between the time it leaves your home to the time it arrives at its eternal garbage dump resting place. Hence why I’ve found comfort in this $11 Guard Your ID Advanced Security Roller from Plus, basically just a stamp with a gibberish pattern of letters that, when rolled over any text, makes it unreadable.
A shredder is obviously the first line of defense when it comes to obscuring personal information. Unfortunately, I do not have space for a shredder in my studio apartment, and also shredders are big and loud and expensive and annoying. Anyway, this stamp does as good a job as any shredder at making your info disappear, and it claims to last for 100 feet of stamping, which is probably something like 200 pieces of mail, give or take a letter or two. However, the same company also makes a refillable version for just $2 more, so you can roll on even after the ink runs dry.
Both rollers come in a range of different colors. And aside from using it to stamp out your name on any and all mail, the Amazon description also recommends sliding it across your prescription pill bottles, which is both genius and terrifying because I never thought about all the personal information on prescription labels until right now.
So has this stamp ever actually thwarted an identify theft? Probably. And it does it make me feel more protected from identity theft? You bet your social security number it absolutely does.