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Documents You Should Shred Right Now

Posted on: April 28, 2023

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Documents to Shred Immediately

Throwing confidential information in the trash puts you and your family at risk. Once the trash leaves your control, there is a risk that someone will find personal information they can use to steal your identity.

Shredding is the primary way to safeguard personal information once it leaves your possession. If you’re unsure which documents need to be shredded, we’ve compiled a list of documents that you should shred sooner rather than later. Once you’ve gathered all your documents, give TrueShred a call at 888559-1928. We can help you find a way to securely shred any paperwork with personal information.

Documents to Shred Right Now

The general rule is anything with account numbers, birth dates, passwords, signatures and Social Security numbers should be shredded confidentially, including:

Bank Statements

Bank statements that include your banking account numbers and information should be securely shredded. This is important to ensure that no personal and identifiable information is in circulation when it doesn’t need to be.

Tax Records

You should keep your tax returns and any supporting documentation for at least three years after you file or the due date of your return, whichever date is later. We recommend three years because of the statute of limitations set by the IRS.

Canceled Checks

Voiding a check doesn’t mean the check’s life is over. Your bank account number and routing number are listed on the bottom of every check, making this valuable information available to whoever gets their hands on your canceled check.

Pay Stubs

While your pay stub might not seem like it’s a valuable document that should be shredded, it is. Your pay stub includes information like your address, your place of employment, your health care provider and your bank accounts. It is important to limit the number of documents that can lead to identity theft by shredding them.

Medical Records

Other sensitive documents to shred include medical records. Medical records contain sensitive and personal information about patients, including their medical history, test results and other identifying information. If these records fall into the wrong hands, it can lead to identity theft, insurance fraud or other types of malicious activity.

Shredding medical records is one way to ensure that they are securely destroyed and that your privacy is protected. Securely store your medical records before shredding them. You may want to use a reputable shredding service that follows Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines. As a company that is NAID AAA Certified and HIPPA compliant, TrueShred can shred your medical records.

Insurance Records

Insurance records contain personal and sensitive information, including policy numbers, claims history and other identifying information. If these records fall into the wrong hands, it can result in identity theft or insurance fraud.

Additionally, insurance records may contain outdated or inaccurate information that could be used to make unauthorized changes to your policy or access your accounts. By shredding these records, you can help protect yourself from potential security breaches or fraudulent activities.

It’s important to note that there may be legal requirements for retaining certain types of insurance records, such as those related to claims or policy changes. In such cases, it may be advisable to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine the appropriate retention period for these records.

In general, when disposing of insurance records, it is essential to follow proper protocols for the disposal of sensitive information. This may include securely storing the records before they are shredded and using a reputable shredding service that follows industry best practices.

Old Hard Drives or Media

When you delete files or reformat a hard drive, the data is not completely erased from the drive. It is still present on the drive and can potentially be recovered using specialized software or hardware. This means that sensitive information, such as personal or financial data, could be at risk if the drive falls into the wrong hands.

Shredding a hard drive or other media involves physically destroying the device, making it impossible to recover the data it contained. This can help ensure that sensitive information is securely destroyed and cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals.

In addition to protecting sensitive information, shredding old hard drives or media can also help prevent environmental contamination. Electronics contain hazardous materials that can pose a risk if they are not securely destroyed. By shredding these devices, the materials can be properly handled and recycled in an environmentally responsible way.

Simply deleting files or reformatting a hard drive is not sufficient for protecting sensitive information. When disposing of old hard drives or media, you must follow proper protocols for the destruction of this sensitive data. This may include using a reputable shredding service that follows NAID AAA Certification guidelines for the disposal of electronic devices.

Documents You Should Keep

While there are many documents to shred right away, others should be kept temporarily or permanently.

Paperwork to Keep Temporarily

You should keep the paperwork for the following assets as long as you own them:

  • House and mortgage documents
  • Vehicle titles and loan paperwork
  • Appliance manuals and warranties
  • Insurance policies

Important Documents to Keep Forever

The following documents should be stored securely in a safe for your entire life:

  • Birth and death certificates
  • Social Security cards
  • Marriage license
  • Wills, living wills and powers of attorney

Shred Everything Else

It is wise to shred any documents that include personal information, such as your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Bank account information
  • Social Security number

Certain documents that have your personal information on them are often forgotten about. Make sure you shred paperwork like ATM receipts, bills, credit card receipts and used airline tickets — don’t just throw them in the trash!

Document Shredding Services in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC

If you have personal records and files that you need to shred, call TrueShred for one-time shredding. Say goodbye to hunching in front of your home shredder for hours! We will perform full personal document destruction at your home.

Contact TrueShred for a free estimate today or to learn more about what to shred immediately.

Upcoming Events

10:00 am Monthly Community Shredding
Monthly Community Shredding
Aug 10 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Recycling Event To accommodate residential and small business clients, TrueShred offers a paper shredding drop-off option. Bring your medium sized boxes (Regular Bankers Box) of sensitive papers and for just $10 per box watch the
Katy Moore, Office Administrator - Law Office of Kevin Wilson

”I have worked with several document destruction companies over the past ten years and until contracting with TrueShred, I hadn’t met a company with which I felt so compelled to share with professional colleagues. TrueShred’s personnel are always polite, considerate, timely and attentive. . . I trust all of my future shredding needs to TrueShred!”