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 credit card, rather than outright theft.
That said, the ID Guard Stamp is an interesting and even marginally useful idea. The stamp is an ordinary rubber stamp with a pattern intended to obscure underlying printing. Thus, if you apply it to an address on an envelope, the address will be obscured provided that it is not glossy or coated paper. The ink is oil based and can be removed with a variety of solvents.
Thus, if you're putting out magazines in a reception room and the address is printed on a paper label affixed to the magazine, this stamp will work to obscure the name of the subscriber unless someone in the waiting area is really, truly obsessed with finding out who the magazine was addressed to and has some rubbing alcohol or other solvent with them.
Which brings us to the real issue. Who is really after your data? If you think people are going through your recycling to grab your name and address off the mailing labels, you might need therapy more than you need this stamp or any other security measure. If you're concerned with the information on credit card mailings and the like, then it is much more convenient and efficient to run them through a good cross-cut shredder.
The small size is inadequate to cover a typical address panel with just one stamp. And then there is the expense of buying refills for every thousand impressions. Build quality is typical of today's rubber stamps (though I don't think they use rubber any more).
While I can see very limited applications in some narrow areas where you just want to obscure data to discourage, not necessarily absolutely prevent, people from reading underlying data on address labels and the like, this product will work. But if you are really concerned, a cross-cut shredder or burning will be far more effective.
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
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 … 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
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