Paper Shredding

Paper Shredding – What Documents Should You Shred

Shredding documents is an important part of maintaining home security and a keeping your identity safe from theft. Every home produces confidential information. The daily functions of any individual bring about a surprising amount of waste that could be used for identity theft. Each year, an estimated $100 million is lost to data theft. Documents with personal information on them are not secure in a dumpster. And, currently, there are no laws against dumpster diving in this country. Unfortunately, once you have disposed of your documents, you no longer have a claim to their privacy. This is why it is important to keep your personal information safe and secure by shredding anything that contains information such as your name, phone number, address, social security number, or bank account information.

The list of documents recommended to shred may include some items that you would not normally consider initially. However, items, such as credit card receipts, ATM receipts, airline tickets, and even bills should be run through a shredder before they are discarded. Also, expired credit cards, IDs, passports, and visas should be shredded immediately.

List of items to shred:

– ATM receipts

– Bank statements

– Canceled and voided checks

– Copies of birth certificates

– Credit card bills

– Credit reports

– Employment documents containing any identifying information

– Expired passports and visas

– Expired drivers licenses

– Investments account numbers

– Legal documents

– Investment and stock transactions

– Items with a personal signature on them

– Luggage tags

– Medical and dental records

– Papers with a Social Security number

– Passwords

– Pay stubs

– PIN numbers

– Pre-approved credit card applications

– Property transactions

– Receipts

– Tax forms

– Transcripts containing identifying information

– Travel itineraries

– Used airline tickets

– Utility bills

It is just as important to know what documents to keep as it is to know what documents to shred. In general, you will need to keep physical copies of all documents that pertain to federal and state matters. These items may include licenses, deeds, and certifications. It is important to keep copies of your state and federal documents in a secure place. These, sometimes necessary, documents are often very difficult to replace.

A list of documents not to shred:

– Birth and death certificates

– Business license

– Deeds

– ID cards and passports

– Insurance policy

– Loan documents

– Living Wills

– Marriage license

– Mortgage documents

– Pension plan documents

– Powers of attorney

– Social security cards

– Vehicle titles

– Wills

There are some documents that you will not need to keep forever, but that you will also not want to shred. Often, you will need to keep the most recent version of this sort of document. However, at times, a document will require that you keep it in a safe place for an extended period of time.

Items that fall into these categories include:

– Annual insurance policy statements (most recent version)

– Bank Statements (Keep 1 year)

– Home purchase documents (keep for 6 years)

– Home sale documents (keep for 6 years)

– Home improvement documents (keep for 6 years)

– Pay stubs (keep 1 year)

– Medical records and bills (keep 1 year)

– Receipts (keep for 7 years)

– Retirement plan statements (most recent version)

– Social security statements (most recent version)

– Tax records (keep for 7 years)

– Warranty documents and receipts (keep for life of item)

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