Works as advertised, but not as secure as you might think.
Jun 9, 2010
The Corporation ID Guard Stamp I reviewed, in the small size worked fairly well. I used it to cover up hand-written social security numbers on old forms, typed credit card numbers on statements, and similar data -- with a single stamping. I then did everything I could think of to try to get at the data. I tried a lightbox & a bright light bulb. I tried scanning it and using computer analysis, and I tried ink transfer techniques to try to lift the ink off the paper. None of them worked -- HOWEVER -- if the data was HAND WRITTEN, to get to the data, all a thief has to do is turn the paper over, and look for the indentations in the paper. If any significant pressure was used to hand write the data, then there will be an impression visible (and traceable) on the back of the paper. The stamp also carries a specific disclaimer that it doesn't work on glossy types of paper. Finally, I tried nail polish remover to try to get the ink off ... and I had some limited success with that. Although, the ink was still fairly fresh when I tried it. I was able to gently remove enough of the ink to start to get a view of the underlying original typed data.
Also note, the ink pad on the "small" size really is small. It doesn't generally cover a full field, which means a double stamping is needed, and that means lots of ink will be used (I am sure larger sizes will do better, but they will also cost more and use more ink).
Bottom line: the stamp GENERALLY works to obscure private data on non-glossy paper. But as noted above, the ink is not fool-proof. Also, long-term, you will spend more on the stamps and their ink, than you will for a shredder. If you are using a cross-cutting shredder you can also handle credit cards, glossy paper, and anything else you might want to destroy. If the noise and dust (etc.) of shredders bothers you, go ahead and try this stamp, but caveat emptor.
This product does more or less what it says it will - obliterates small areas of information on non-glossy paper. Unfortunately, as anti-spy equipment it wouldn't get past Q at MI5. Pros: 1. Thoroughly obliterates the area it covers. 2. Excellent on porous material Cons: 1. Covers a very small area, and even some mailing labels need double stamping. 2. The base is just a little tray that the stamp … more
As other reviewers have stated, this is a good idea that falls short. Imagine how easy it is to just stamp over addresses or account numbers while sorting through your mail. The stamp area is a little small but I believe there are two different sizes. This size covers a basic address label with a set of unreadable symbols and letters. The idea is that it covers your valuable information and makes it unreadable. The problem is that the ink is not indelible. … more
For several years now, fear peddlers have been strenuously hawking all manner of products and services to prevent or ameliorate "identity theft". Much like the earlier scares about Y2K and viruses, the identity theft scare is vastly overblown. Unquestionably identify theft does occur, but if you look at the official reports the identify theft rarely goes to the level that advertises cite to hawk their wares. Most of it is simple credit card theft and much of that is simply unauthorized use of a … more
This little gadget is not perfect - but it doesn't claim to be. It will not do the job on slick or glossy paper; I cannot imagine that any inker would be able to do that. That's a given and it is clearly pointed out on the product packaging. I was interested in the Guard Stamp because I dread the process of shredding documents so much that I always end up putting the job off until I have accumulated an intimidating stack of paper. This impressed me as being a good alternative … more