Shredding all of your documents that are no longer a necessity may seem like a daunting and annoying task, but once it’s done you’re definitely going to feel much better. If not for the fact that you just got to shred a bunch of things, definitely for the fact that you just made it that much harder for someone to commit identity theft.
In an increasingly digital age, it can be difficult to combat identity theft, but you can’t forget that these thieves can still use paper to commit their crimes. Here’s how you can protect your identity, starting with your recycling bin.
Shred Primary Documents
If it comes in the mail with your name on it, it should be shredded. Unless it’s a letter from a friend or an important statement, then you should shred it to prevent the possibility of someone taking it from your trash bin.
Believe it or not, you should shred hard devices as well. Hard drives, SD cards, mobile phones, SIM cards, and thumb drives that have sensitive information on them should be destroyed once they’re no longer being used. If you can’t find paper shredding services to do this, a simple hammer can usually do the trick.
Reduce Paper Use
The less paper you use in your day to day exchanges, the better. More and more transactions are moving to electronics, which reduces the number of documents that could be stolen from your trash bin. However, when it comes to things like taxes and important receipts, you should keep them for at least seven years in paper form before shredding them.
Fortunately, many banks and other businesses now host shred-a-thons to make shredding easier and entertaining for the masses. If you’re not one to hire your own shredding services company, simply find out if a business near you is having a mass shredding party.
If shredding isn’t enough security for you, there’s always time to have a bonfire and roast marshmallows over the flames engulfing your important documents. However, a shredding services company can offer you the same kind of secure disposal without any of the safety hazards that come with an impromptu bonfire.