According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates, about nine million Americans have their identities stolen every year. When you work from home, it isn't just your personal information you need to worry about either. Customer lists and other proprietary materials may be exposed to prying eyes if you don't take steps to keep them secure. If you have nightmares about identity thieves rooting through your garbage for personal information, a shredder can give you some security and peace of mind [source: FTC].
Older style shredders separate paper into thin ribbons. Although these strip-cut shredders are still on the market, they aren't as secure as shredders that cross cut the strips into confetti. Strip cuts can be pasted back together by enterprising thieves. (Yes, some take the time to do just that.)
When you shop for a shredder, have a general idea of how much paper you'll be processing at one time. Shredders are rated for a maximum capacity, and trying to feed 200 sheets through an eight-page capacity shredder can be time consuming and frustrating. If you can afford it, err on the high side. The average office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of paper a year, so you'll probably be using that shredder more than you think [source: LBL].