Safely managing documents in the home is just as important as protecting sensitive information at work. While the majority of documents entering your home can be thrown away, some contain critical information that should be saved. Adopting a strategy to safely dispose of unwanted papers and store important documents will prevent identity theft, fraud, and other abuses of information.
Shredding and hard drive destruction services secure your information, reduce clutter, and include recycling. Whether you work from home or handle typical household documents, you can benefit from professional shredding services. Secure destruction preserves confidentiality and keeps your family’s information safe.
Privacy & Retention Regulations to Consider
Regulations are not enforced on individuals handling their own information. However, it is important to consider the following guidelines to manage your documents as safely as possible. If you are running a business from home, commercial privacy laws will apply.
California v. Greenwood
Ruled that garbage placed on the curb is not protected under the 4th amendment, making it legal to search through and take items from the trash. Documents containing personal information can be easily stolen this way.
Record Retention for Individuals
Record retention guidelines suggest keeping tax, legal, financial, and medical documents for a specific period of time. Tax returns can be audited for up to 6 years after filing, so it’s wise to keep tax records for 7 years.
Personal Documents You Should Shred
- ATM receipts
- Bank statements
- Birth certificate copies
- Cancelled and voided checks
- Credit card statements, bills, & summaries
- Credit reports and histories
- Documents containing names, addresses, phone numbers, or e-mail addresses
- Documents containing passwords or PINs
- Documents containing Social Security Numbers
- Employment records
- Expired credit & debit cards
- Expired passports, photo IDs, or visas
- Insurance records
- Investment documents
- Items with signatures
- Junk mail
- Legal documents
- Medical & dental records
- Pay stubs
- Pet documents
- Property transactions
- Receipts with account numbers
- Shipping labels & packing slips
- Tax forms
- Transcripts & report cards
- Travel documents
- Utility bills
Personal Hard Drives & Devices You Should Destroy
- Cell Phones
- Desktop Computers
- Disk Drives
- Flash Media
- Hard Drives
- Printers & Photocopiers
- SD Cards
Tips for Personal Information Management
Keeping your personal documents organized reduces clutter in your home and makes it easy to find the information you need when you are looking for it. Here are some tips for maintaining your personal information:
Digitize What You Can
There are many ways to reduce the amount of physical paperwork in your home. Simple changes you can make include signing up for paperless billing, subscribing to digital newspapers and magazines, and scanning important documents to store digitally.
Mail and other paperwork can stack up quickly and get lost. Shredding disposes of documents you no longer need without exposing your personal data. Habitually shredding your documents protects your identity and keeps you organized.
Receive Free Quotes on Residential Document Shredding
Shred Nations offers shredding services large and small to serve businesses and individuals. Regular shredding will protect your information and help you maintain all of your personal documents. Give us a call at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form to receive free quotes on residential shredding services. We will instantly connect you with local shredding companies in your area.