Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Smokeless burning in home.

  1. Feb 14, 2007 #1
    How i can make/buy one i am really paranoid about become victim of identity theft each time i throw out any documents with my bank account or some personal info.

    I have seen some advertisement in internet, though forgot where, it was saying this tool can replace paper shredder, because you can burn paper inside your home without smoke, i think it was same concept as smokeless ashtray, someone heard about this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2007 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Smokeless ashtrays use a fan and filter to capture the smoke particles. Why don't you just use a shredder?
     
  4. Feb 15, 2007 #3
    Well thats because it just cuts paper apart and it can be restored with a little bit of time, if you burn paper, its gone forever, i don't understand how people who want to secure they'r personal data think shredder is enough...
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  5. Feb 15, 2007 #4
    Use a cross cut shredder, they are more expensive than standard shredders but not prohibitive. The ones we use at work are made by Rexel and are suitable for destruction up to government security classifications.

    At home I use a standard cheap shredder but shred everything and then when I empty the shredding bin make sure it's all well mixed before being recycled.

    It is all based on effort required to assemble information. With an unshredded bill you can go to a number of places and use it obtain ID or even use it to convince a locksmith to open the property it is attached to.

    Shred that bill through a standard shredder and you need to sort out all the strips from dozens of others and then use the account numbers to try and obtain further information from the bill issuer before you can get an ID.

    Once you crosscut the bill the effort required to reassemble it even if it was just the shreddings of a single bill would involve years of work.

    You can get newspaper log makers, but these have lost popularity because they are not smokeless when burnt, and if not compressed sufficiently can cause chimney fires.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2007 #5

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    X2 on the cross-cut paper shredder.

    You can find a good one for around $70, and the one I have is able to shred junk mail in the envelope; I don't even have to open the thing. It shreds CD's and credit cards too. All I have to see is the "0% APR" through the envelope (or on the outside of it) and into the shredder it goes.

    The point is to make your trash less appetizing to a would-be identity thief. If you cross-cut all of your stuff, the sheer volume of shreddings in your trash will make him/her move on to the next opportunity.
     
  7. Feb 15, 2007 #6
    Sounds good, though but not sure it will take years to assemble cuz with current technology one may use PC to assemble them, e.g. he scan all mixed peaces with scanner then use software program that can build them, as puzzle without any effort required by user, so only time wasted is time to scan this peaces.

    I dont have fireplace in my house so its useless for me.

    Yeah but what about corporate spy's they don't care how complex work is, if they know there is way to restore sensitive data, so i decided to stick with burning, its cheaper and 100% effective.

    Okay since there seems to be no smokeless way to burn papers inside house, what would be the best way to burn bunch of papers inside my flat, because i cant go and start fire outdoors since i live in city.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  8. Feb 15, 2007 #7

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ok, but now you're talking about a different issue. To prevent identity theft/fraud, a cross-cut paper shredder is plenty effective. For sensitive corporate documents, there are service companies that can handle the destruction of the documents, through various levels of complexity and completeness. Again, the sheer VOLUME of documents being shredded works against anoyone trying to piece together documents. There's no way that any kind of corporate spy could piece together 10,000 cross-cut documents, even with a computer and scanner. You do realize that he/she would have to individually scan EACH piece of cut paper (hundreds per sheet)? The logistics involved would be astronomical.

    Edit: Want a REALLY high-security shredding option? Offis Life Model 2677HS High Security Paper Shredders. DOD/NSA/CSS approved for Level 5/6 Top-Secret shredding. The level 6 shreds a sheet into 1mm x 5mm pieces, good luck piecing that back together.

    The point is, you're not going to be able to burn things in your house, so you're going to need to either a) go the shredding route, or b) go camping and burn it there. While burning documents may be 100% effective, it's also true that a cross cut paper shredder is 99% effective as long as many documents are shredded together, and their shreddings are then mixed together. A high security paper shredder is without a doubt 100% effective as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  9. Feb 15, 2007 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    At the very least, it would require a person to place the pieces right-side up and not touching each other on a flat-bed scanner. That would take weeks just for a single bag of shredded paper.

    If a shredder gave you .25" pieces, that's 3,256 pieces per page. At 2 seconds each to pick up and place on a scanner, that's just under two hours per page.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  10. Feb 15, 2007 #9

    Well theres tons of cheap labour force that can work for 5$ per hour, or i think one can make conveyer that can arrange and scan paper itself...

    Well paying 1000+$ for paper Shredders is kind of overkill for me budget and common sense. And i am not in any corporation.

    Well why not i doing this in my kitchens metal sink for quite a time now, just this is not very convenient to do it when i got a lot of paper, had to do it one by one.

    Am i first person asking such question isn't there some convenient way for burning documents at home?
     
  11. Feb 15, 2007 #10
    How paranoid are you? Cross cut shredders are OK for major commercial companies, banks the government why not you. If you had ever seen the output of a cross cut you wouldn't be worried each tiny scrap of paper is so small you can't even get one letter on it.

    Make papiermache, mix up your shreddings, add water, stir round, squeeze water out and you have a block of paper bonded together which will further disintegrate if you try and disentangle it.

    Unless you are doing something sooooo illegal that special intelligence services are after you crosscut in the bin is more than enough to protect you.

    Did you know that with a scanning electron microscope you can extract the residual data left in the memory of your compter even if you physically destroy the chips. You should be careful, given 30 years somebody may know you've posted on this forum....
     
  12. Feb 15, 2007 #11

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Now you're being ridiculous. No one has a slave labor camp dedicated to stealing your identity. I doubt there is such an operationg going after any corporations either. And the scanning conveyor belt wouldn't work either, because the little sheets are all generally the same size and shape, and there isn't enough information on them to piece the document back together. All you have to do is be more of a pain in shredding documents than your neighbor. It's all about making yourself a less suitable target, not perfect security no matter what... you're much more likely to have someone break into your house and steal information, or pick pocket you, than someone trying to piece together cross-cut documents from your trash.

    But you mentioned corporate surveillance? You really need to understand that it's simply impossible to achieve what you're implying, as long as your shredded paper is mixed. The more documents you shred together, the exponentially harder it would be to even consider piecing anything back together. I would argue the effort required reaches infinity at as few as a couple dozen documents, mixed thouroughly together.

    Sure, it's called a fireplace. What we're trying to say is, the cross-cut paper shredder approach is plenty good, and even the paper mache idea is better than trying to burn a sheet at a time in your sink. Hope you have adequate ventilation in your kitchen :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  13. Feb 15, 2007 #12
    Well i am not paranoid i just know it is possible to restore data from shredders thats perfect point for me to not use em. You know when you into PC's you have to be very cautious (and sometimes paranoid) because if you not, you never succeed, all this viruses in email, worms, dialers etc etc how much chance that someone is written computer virus for you especially and sent it to your email, so you will think its safe to run any executable or script sent to you by email, but actually this stuff is automated it spreads like plague so you have to be paranoid unless you want to be hacked.
    Why cant i use same concept in real life? And what about commercial companies, banks the governments well many banks been robbed, government organizations hacked, companies become bankrupt because some business rivals steal they'r plans and strategy.
    Maybe if they pay little more attention to security and don't call people who does care, paranoid they would not been called victims after all.
    If things i speak about are to sophisticated for general public well criminals aren't general public they smart and prudent they usually find they'r ways using someones imprudence.

    This calling people paranoid actually bamboozle by those who DONT want you to be to careful so they have creephole for threy'r evil doing.

    What is wrong to make perfectly secure environment whatever this is bank or my home?


    More example when you sit in your car you usually not use seat belt because you don't think something may happen chance is so low, but does life really worth playing lottery?


    Well i already told my opinion, why should i be good citizen and use technology that can allow government to spy on me, but same time normal people would not be able, should i use software with backdoors for same purpose and pray that government wont get hacked (like it did many times) and someone steal this information and will use this backdoors to spread new virus over internet? Why play lotto when you can secure yourself and have good sleep at night, you just have to have more seeing into future and understand that this things are not so unlikely to happen.
    Besides i don't owe anything to government, i pay taxes this is enough, i have right for privacy.

    Did you know there is programs (like Eraser) to securely erase data that overwrite it like 35 times with random data then no one can restore it, i think not even with microscope. If you think only criminals should use this such programs then i suggest you stay away from pc's, and go work on some farm, also next time you sell your old hard drive on ebay (like some bank did) keep in mind that you dont need microscope to recover data from it, just small peace of software that cost 20 bucks . GL
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  14. Feb 15, 2007 #13
    Its hard for PC system administrator to stick with this thought, what if i end up in company that provides security (not only for pc's) for business etc etc, and someone manage to recover sensitive data from shredder, what should i tell my employer, sorry it was less likely, there was just 1% chance out of 100 they would do it, who will want to work with me after that?

    You know PC's very badly my friend this software that can restore this data is so easy to write and curreny pc's operate so fast it would not take even day i think to build documents back from digital database of peaces.


    Well if they did you think they would go left and right shouting about this, i am not sure if this really possible or not, it depends of how much information is lost during actual cut process, i mean how much of paper destroyed by razor, if razors used in shredder are very tiny therefore not much of document lost then restoration seems pretty obvious for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
  15. Feb 15, 2007 #14

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You need to understand the sheer magnitude of what you're proposing! Even if one single sheet of paper was shredded and it's chads were immediately extracted from the machine, it would literally take days to scan the individual pieces of paper. Now the computer will have to sort through an incredible number of possible combinations to find the correct combination (we're talking billions or billions); that will take a significant amount of time, even with a fast computer. Now, shred two pieces of paper, and that number of combinations goes up even higher! With only two pieces of paper!

    What happens when you shred dozens of pieces of paper? The number of possible combinations is completely insurmountable, even for a supercomputer. The possible combinations, paired with the fact that there really isn't any way to tell which pieces go with what page, make this impossible.

    I would love to see you try, as you have obviously missed several hurdles that prevent this from happening.

    I'm telling you, with a medium-security shredder, it's for all intensive purposes impossible.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2007 #15

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, it's your life, but those two statements pretty much contradict each other. Worrying about it that much is overkill and common sense left the building yesterday.

    We've given you what you need here, so what you do is up to you. I don't want to 'feed the fire' (yeah, bad pun intended) by discussing this further. I don't want to get overly personal here, but honestly, I think you should talk to someone you trust about what the definition of "overkill" is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2007
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Smokeless burning in home.
  1. Wanna Make a CPU at Home (Replies: 14)

  2. Wood burning train (Replies: 10)

Loading...