Identity theft is a real problem.
I don't think anybody would argue with that. While the papers might not thrum daily to the groan of "he stole my house, bank balance, Facebook account and Peugot 106" horror stories it is accepted that having one's identity stolen (or at the very least borrowed for nefarious purposes) is a very real risk in the modern age.
We all take steps against it, I am sure. Shredding personal documents before putting them in the rubbish. Not storing our passwords and account names on our computers. Not writing down our credit card pin numbers (yeah right - who doesn't do that?), etc.
And talking of credit cards, we cut them up, don't we? When they expire or the bank issues us a new one because they've been taken over / taken over someone else and have changed their name we snap those horrid bits of plastic in half and maliciously quarter them with a sharp pair of scissors. Maybe even cut them in half again just to be sure.
But the question is: how small do you cut them up?
I only ask because I suspect I go over the top. It is a curious foible of mine to reduce old credit cards down to something akin to the molecular level. I recognize there is no logic to this endeavour because any letters or documents that I receive from the bank I merely rip in half and bin without a second thought. If someone wanted to rifle through my rubbish (avoiding the dirty nappies - good luck) and piece them back together and ascertain my account numbers, it wouldn't be too difficult.
But credit cards trigger a primitive sense of paranoia in me.
Not only do I reduce them to confetti but I also have to distribute them over as wide an area as possible. The splintered components cannot all go into the same bin just in case there is a madman out there (and he would have to be mad - and very good at jigsaws) who will spend months locating all the pieces and then somehow gluing them back together again to gain access to my bank account information.
To neutralize this risk I put approximately half into the bin at home and then very cannily distribute the other half into the many street bins that line my morning walk to work. It would be a labour of Hercules to recover all the pieces and put them back together again. Sometimes I even mix the pieces of different cards just to confuse the would be identity thief even more. I like messing with their heads, you see. I like to think that the UK's asylums are all full of would-be identity crims who have all been driven mad by their attempts to reconfigure my old credit cards.
You can laugh if you want to. Call me nutty and neurotic if you have a mind. But nobody - and I mean nobody - is ever going to steal my identity by nicking one of my old credit cards.
I can guarantee it.