On the blog we talk a lot about the pros and cons of shredding, like how it benefits the environment and can help you clear up space around the house. But what about the things you should always shred? Do you actually know what kinds of documents you should be shredding in the first place anyways?
We all know the basics: tax documents, bank statements, etcetera, etcetera. We can’t give you a list of every single kind of document you should shred. What we can give you is a list of things to look out for on documents that should always be shredded.
Why Shred In The First Place?
Getting your personal documents shredded professionally helps to protect your confidential or personal information from fraud or identity theft. When you throw out documents that contain personal information, you put yourself at risk to have your identity stolen.
For businesses or those who work at imaging centers or medical offices, improperly disposing of personal information is a violation of HIPAA guidelines and can earn you fines up to $250,000 and up to 10 years of jail time.
Whether for personal or professional reasons, it’s extremely important to keep personal information safe. Here are four forms of personal information you should always shred.
Things You Should Always Shred
1. Full Names and Address
Often times its printed right there on the front of your mail. Still, it’s important to shred documents containing your full name and address. These two pieces of information can be key for identity thieves in hacking your accounts.
2. Account Numbers
Whether it’s for a credit card, bank account, or Spotify, any account number could be used to compromise your personal security. An experienced thief could easily get access to that account with just an account number, name, and a call to customer service.
Bills, credit card statements, and any other documents containing account numbers should be shredded once you’re finished with them. Many services offer paperless statements and billing, which can help keep your information secure and in one place.
3. Your Social Security Number
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Your world could change in an instant if the wrong person gets a hold of your social security number— even if it’s just the last four digits.
4. Your Signature
Documents and receipts with your signature on them can also pose a threat to your security and should be shredded. An identity thief could easily learn to copy your signature. Combined with an account number, name and address, you could lose everything in moments.
It’s good to keep in mind that paper isn’t the only thing that can contain personal information that needs to be shredded. X-rays, hard drives, CD’s, thumb drives, and other forms of media can all contain vital personal information that you want to keep out of the wrong hands and are all things you should always shred. Lemay Mobile Shredding offers both paper and non-paper shredding services to help you keep you or your clients or business’ confidential information confidential.