Identity Theft: Prevention Through Document Shredding

woman document shredding

Identity theft has become a prolific and expensive problem.  The US Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million cases of identity theft take place per year in the USA alone, for a staggering total cost of $54 billion dollars. Also, information privacy laws like HIPAA are driving shredder sales, as individuals and businesses alike take steps to comply to avoid legal complications.  If you do not want to join that statistic, enlisting the help of a shredding company is a good place to start.

Document shredding isn’t just for banks and law offices, anymore.  With the staggering amount of credit card offers and mailings with account numbers and information the average household receives these days, document shredding can feel like it has become a full time job.  This is where hiring a shredding company comes in handy.  Hiring a shredder is easy to do, especially using Shred Nations.  Shred Nations will help you find a qualified shredding company in your area to fit your document shredding needs.

Important documents to shred are those that contain potentially compromising information, including anything from bank account information, Social Security numbers and credit card information.  Shredding companies recommend using a good cross-cut shredder which will turn your documents into tiny pieces, as opposed to long strips that could be potentially reconstructed.

Old tax returns once you no longer run the risk of being audited are also good items to shred.  You should keep no more than a few months’ worth of pay stubs which is more than enough to prove steady income for loan applications.   Bank account statements should also not be kept, especially if your bank offers online records.  ATM receipts should only be kept until they have been compared against your latest bank statement.  You can shred more than paper, too.  Expired credit cards and debit cards can be shredded.  CDs and DVDs that contain personal information can also be shredded.

If you don’t own a shredder, or simply are too overwhelmed with the amount of documents you have to shred, commercial shredding companies are available.  These companies can shred on site with mobile shredding trucks or shred off site.