Paper trail is not just a thing of crime drama on television, but it poses some serious threat. To keep confidential and sensitive information out of reach of malicious elements, paper shredding is important. We live in the age of information where it is hard to protect our identities and privacy as such if you let important documents like bills, bank statements, employee files or delivery packages slip, you become imminently at risk. This is why shredding important documents are so important. While individuals can use machines called shredders, big corporate and government offices might need shredding services to deal with their paper trail.
Here we are going to list 5 things you need to shred, but before that, we are going to discuss the importance of paper shredding.
To comply with the law
Not many people are aware of this fact, but improper disposal of sensitive and confidential documents is a punishable offence. Organizations that handle personal and sensitive information have the obligation to protect it else they can face legal and financial consequences. This is why it is important to shred employee files that are no longer required or relevant.
Reducing the risk of identity theft
Identity theft is one of the major cyber attacks that result in financial and personal losses for victims. However, the source of identity theft is not always online. A delivery box with your address and name can be a potential threat that can result in identity theft. This is why it is best practice to use paper shredders to dispose of documents with important and personal information.
Shredded paper is recycled and reused. This helps in protecting numerous trees that otherwise would be cut down to make more paper. We are moving towards a paperless society but still, the paper is required to document information. However, when the information contained in papers is not required, instead of discarding them inappropriately, shredding is an eco-friendlier method.
Clutter-free and fire safe surrounding
Even if you try to put all the disposable paper trail in storage or somewhere in your office, it creates piles of papers. However, this not only clutters the office space but also increases the risk of fire. Many offices hire an employee to take care of the paper disposal, but if you are a small business setup, shredding services are more cost-effective as they do not require any capital investment.
Now you know why there is a need to practice proper disposal of paper documents. Now let’s take a look at 5 things that you definitely should shred.
- Bank statements
Financial documents are the most sought-after paper trails by the criminals to get access to your personal information. This is why bank statements should be immediately shredded as soon as you get all the information you need from them.
- Utility and credit card bills
We hardly pay attention to utility bills and pay stubs have more personal information than you think. Identity thieves can find information about your healthcare provider and banks from these bills. As a smart credit card holder, it is expected of you to make transition to online statements, but if for some reason you still get paper credit card bills, make sure to shred them immediately.
- Junk Mail
There are all sorts of documents you receive in your junk mail. Instead of sorting through the junk mail, shred it all to avoid any personal information falling into the hands of identity thieves. Any mail with your name, address, signature, passwords, account numbers or tax-related information must be shredded.
- Medical records
Medical records are needed but not all of them. Make sure to shred the information that is no longer needed like the medical bills that are older than a year. Your medical records have enough information for anyone to forge your id.
- Expired IDs like old passports and photo IDs
People have a tendency to hold on to their expired photo IDs and passports for some reason. So, the safe practice is to shred such identification cards the minute they are not needed anymore.
Shredding paper is not just about complying with the law or preventing identity theft, but it also helps protect nature and reduce fire hazards.