If you’re a fan of social media, you might have noticed a video doing the rounds recently that featured a product that claimed to be ‘better and more secure than shredding’ for document destruction. Naturally, we couldn’t just let this slide under or radar, so today we’ll be talking about this new invention and how secure it really is.
What Is It?
There have been a couple of different brands of these devices going around, but we’re going to focus on the ‘Roller Stamps Messy Code’. You can find this on a couple of different websites for around the £20 mark, and it comes in the form of a simple rubber stamp with an ink roller. This roller uses dense patterns to ‘permanently block out’ sensitive information from paper, allowing you to just throw the paper into the recycling bin. This particular model boasts ‘oil based ink’ that penetrates non-glossy paper, so that information can’t be read from the back either. However, it can’t be used on glossy paper as the ink will simply ‘rub off’. The ink will last for ‘160 feet’ and cartridges can be bought separately. Needless to say, we have a few reasons why this seemingly ‘miraculous’ little gadget might not be the time saver it’s made out to be.
Let’s start with the obvious one – this stamp is a much more expensive option than buying a shredder. Depending on your budget, you can buy shredders for as little as £10, and for that investment you will get years of use with no need to buy new parts. With the roller stamp however, you are not only making an investment in the device, but committing to the ongoing cost of buying ink, which in this case costs exactly the same amount as the device does. But not only is it a more expensive options long term, it’s also a big time investment. Using this device, you would need to go through all pages of your documents and find which bits of information need to be covered up. This takes a lot longer than simply feeding the document through the shredder in one go.
We don’t mean that it could be broken physically (although it would be easy to stand on and destroy), but we actually mean that the method could be broken and reveal that personal information you are trying to hide. If you’ve ever seen an episode of CSI, you’ve probably seen some of the techniques they use to read text that’s been erased or indentations left in notepads. Well many of the techniques they use are actually real and can be done by anyone with a little bit of investment. Because the information is just being covered up and not destroyed completely, it is perfectly possible for a criminal to read the text underneath all of that oil based ink. All they need to do is take a series of images of the page under different light sources, at different frequencies. The fluorescent properties of the different lights will cause certain ink types to shine on the page, so it’s just a case of finding the right light frequency. Plus, if the document has been printed with a toner based printer, a small amount of water would like the oil based ink of the stamp and leave the toner intact beneath. Of course, this might seem farfetched, but for criminals who make their living from identity theft, it’s not outside the realms of possibility. This is not a problem you would encounter with a shredded document.
Let’s be honest, all you are doing with this device is covering up your data; you are not destroying it or making it inaccessible, just throwing another layer of ink over it. This is nowhere near as secure as breaking the page, and the data, up into tiny pieces of paper. By shredding your documents, you are ensuring that all of the data on those pages can never be read, simply because it doesn’t exist anymore. There is nothing more secure than that!
So no, shredding is not in danger in any way. While devices like this might appeal to some, the vast majority of people understand that when it comes to their sensitive data, you can never be too careful. At Hungry Shredder, we make confidential waste disposal a breeze with our simple and secure document shredding service. To find out more about how we can help you keep your data safe, or book your own curiour collection shredding sack, visit our website or get in touch with our team today.