Document shredding involves the destruction of paper documents through various means, including cutting paper into tiny pieces. The best way to shred paper is by using a paper shredding device. These come in many different sizes. There are very small hand-held paper shredders that you can buy for small amounts of paper shredding at home. There are also medium size shredders that can shred up to 10 pieces of paper at a time. There are larger shredders that can shred about 20 pieces of paper and industrialized shredders that small businesses and large businesses use.
You can also take your papers to a paper shredding specialist where entire bags of paper can be shredded at one time.
Why should you shred important papers at all? Businesses have papers that contain important and often confidential information that requires destruction before it can be recycled or removed. This information may include client’s social security numbers, addresses, telephone numbers, or information about financial accounts in the case of a banking or securities business.
In a medical facility, papers may include pertinent health information. If this information is not destroyed properly a business may be held liable under certain legal guidelines.
For homeowners, personal papers may also include personal and identifying information. This information may be used by someone to engage in identity theft. A document shredder can easily help protect this confidential information to reduce the chances that identity theft can occur.
The Risk Of Identity Theft
Identity theft is increasingly becoming an industry that pays organized criminals billions of dollars every year. Criminals used very specialized tools and to capture personal information about their victims. They will use confidential information to create fake IDs and attempt to make purchases, set up accounts, and carry out business transactions using someone’s information.
They may seek this information from various places, including financial corporations, banks, medical facilities, or homeowner’s trash cans. This is one reason why you should shred important papers. The good news is that most companies have policies requiring them to shred all confidential documents. This has become a national priority as identity theft has become more widespread.
Recycling alone is not going to protect your identity, because you have no way to track the papers that you send to a recycling bin. These papers could easily be stolen and used in malicious ways. You have a personal responsibility to make sure the documents that you have containing identifying information are destroyed permanently.
Examples of important papers to shred include:
- Bank receipts and statements
- Papers containing addresses
- Any papers with social security numbers
- Checks, including canceled or voided checks. A thief may take a check and make copies of it, using it to write back checks.
- Credit reports
- Any papers with passwords or password and login information
- Driver license
- W-2, tax returns, employment documents
- Investment forms and related documents
- Financial records
- Credit card bills
- Pay stubs
- Documents with IDs, employee numbers
- Health insurance cards
- Medical paperwork
- Documents containing your signature
- Legal documents and leases
It is also a good idea to shred old bills. To be safe many people simply shred all of the papers in their home. This is a good way to guarantee that nothing is stolen inadvertently. Businesses make a habit of shredding most of the documents they deal with on a daily basis. This prevents any type of litigation from mishandling of personal or confidential information.
Types Of Document Shredding
Document shredding is a cost-effective and simple tool anyone can use to protect their personal and confidential files and documents from identity theft. There are different types of document shredding services or document shredders available. They all work equally well but some individuals have a preference for one vs. another. These include cross tab shredding, strip cut shredding and shredding provided by private document shredding services. Businesses can have documents picked up weekly for shredding by a document shredding service. This is an inexpensive way to have professional shredding services provide the security and confidentiality a business needs to ensure that documents and destroyed in a proper and diligent manner.