Why Shredding Personal Information is Necessary
When you put something in the trash, it’s usually because you no longer need it. More often than not, your trash passes through several stages on its way to a landfill, making it difficult to know what happens to it once it leaves your possession. In each step that occurs once trash is out of your control, comes a greater risk that someone will find personal information that can be used against you.
Why You Have to Shred Your Personal Information
Safeguard your personal information by shredding papers and documents that have anything about you listed on them, before transferring them to the trash. People can do so much with just your name and address. Documents like tax information, tax returns, investment records, bank statement, paycheck stubs, bills, financial information, and personal photos or private documents are all things that should be reviewed and shredded before they go in the trash.
There are a variety of ways to shred your information. The easiest way is in your own home. Office supply stores and big box warehouses sell shredding devices of all kinds that make it fast and convenient to securely dispose of your information. Cross-cut shredders provide more security than strip cut shredders, because they effectively destroy every trace of the original text, where strip cut documents could be pieced back together.
Another way to shred your personal documents, or the personal information of others that you have in your possession is by using a shredding service. Shredding events are often offered by financial institutions or community organizations as a way to offer one central shredding drop-off location that allows you to bring all of your documents to a federally certified shredding company.
It’s important to remember what personal information should never be shredded. Things like birth certificates, power of attorneys, wills, divorce or child care orders, business agreements, military agreements and trust documents are all permanent records that should be stored safely, and never destroyed.
Determining which trash is garbage, and which trash contains personal information is one of the greatest methods in protecting yourself against fraud, identity theft, and harmful damage that can be authorized with your personal documents.