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We know it's important to protect the big databases that store sensitive information, but we can't ignore paper records.

The amount of information held on paper may be much smaller, but many of the most serious leaks happen through very human methods -- reports stolen from desktops or read over someone's shoulder.

Keep sensitive paper files locked away when they are not being used and don't read them in public places.

When you're done with them, shred them.

The Information Services and Purchasing departments recommend you use a confetti cut shredder, which provides much more security then a strip cut shredder.

Items cut with a strip cut shredder are just asking to be put back together, much like a puzzle.

If you're in doubt about whether to throw away a document or shred it, shred it!

How to Purchase a Shredder

The easiest way for criminals to get your personal information is still by going through your trash and recycling bins. Reviewers say to look for the following when shopping for a paper shredder.

Get a cross-cut or micro-cut paper shredder rated Level 3 or higher.

Look for an easy-to-empty bin.

Don't underestimate your needs. Paper shredders always have a capacity rating. An eight-sheet shredder can most likely handle three or four sheets of office paper at a time. Paper shredders that can chop up CDs, DVDs and credit cards are a good option.

Almost all shredders have auto-stop/start and reverse modes. Auto-start means the paper shredder kicks on when you insert a piece of paper, so you don't have to turn it on and off.

Consider safety. If you have kids in the house, choose a shredder with a safety feature that stops the blades when a hand gets too close to the opening.

Did you know shredded paper is recyclable?

Here are some fun facts about recycling paper.

Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S. JCCC is estimated to recycle 100 tons of paper in 2011.

Each ton (2,000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy, and 7,000 gallons of water. This represents a 64 percent energy savings, a 58 percent water savings and 60 pounds less of air pollution!

JCCC is estimated to receive $8,000 for recycled paper in 2011.

Good news. By 2012, the paper industry’s goal is to recover 60 percent of all the paper Americans consume for recycling, which is approximately 60 million tons of paper.

More than 37 percent of the fiber used to make new paper products in the United States comes from recycled sources.

The typical U.S. office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year.