What Receipts Are Safe to Throw Away? Which Should You Shred?

Posted on: October 5, 2016

Most businesses and homes accumulate mountains of paper over time, from employee and customer records to invoicing, financial, and record keeping. When it comes to receipts, it can be difficult to know which ones are safe to throw away, what you should keep, and which ones you should shred.

Since the Supreme Court ruled that anyone and everyone is free to search through your trash and recyclables once materials are placed on or in a public space, it pays to safeguard any information that could lead to a breach of security, whether personal or related to your business. Here are some guidelines you can follow to prevent the data located on your receipts from falling in to the hands of thieves and keep your private information secure.

To Shred or Not To Shred?

There are several schools of thought regarding receipts, as most contain little personal information, much of which is easily accessible through other means or a truncated series of numbers. Unfortunately, this is all some thieves need to get started and in this case, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Experts warn that the only receipts that are safe to throw away are those which contain no personal information whatsoever, such as a grocery or coffee shop receipt. However, there are exceptions to even those rules—here’s what you need to shred:

  • ATM receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Credit card receipts
  • Credit card statements
  • Grocery,or other store receipts with identifying information (such as a loyalty program number)
  • Receipts containing your name, address, and/or phone number
  • Receipts with a truncated credit card or Social Security number
  • Receipts containing your bank account number
  • Receipts with your signature
  • Used airline tickets

Shredding 101

Knowing the best way to shred personal or business receipts and other sensitive information is just as important as knowing what to shred. While a personal or office shredder may seem like the perfect solution for these often tiny slips of paper, personal shredders are ineffective at best, as remains can often be pieced together by thieves, and your information used against you. The solution? Secure document destruction from TrueShred.

Our process begins when customers select one-time or ongoing shredding services. One-time shredding is ideal for individuals or businesses with a stockpile of receipts, documents, files, or other sensitive data, often times at the end of a retention period or after a large purge.

For ongoing shredding services, TrueShred will place a number of locked consoles or bins throughout your facility, so you can safely deposit receipts or other documentation, which will remain secure until your scheduled appointment time.

Regardless of the frequency of service, your documents and other materials such as credit cards, CD-ROMs, DVDs are destroyed safely and securely, following a strict chain of custody from start to finish:

  • A uniformed employee arrives at your home, or place of business, and collects the information to be shredded. At no time are your materials touched by hand.
  • Documents are loaded in to the on-site, state of the art, shredding truck, shredded, and mixed in with other materials—you are welcome to view this process via a closed circuit monitor.
  • You will be issued a Certificate of Destruction, meeting all standards of compliance.
  • Shredded materials are recycled, to make new paper products, reducing your impact on the environment.

Secure Shredding Services in Metro DC

When you need confidential document destruction in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington DC, contact TrueShred here or call 888-322-3218. You can also use our online form to request pricing. We look forward to serving your shredding needs—and keeping you in compliance!

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Dennis R. Akers, Audit Supervisor - Virginia Department of Taxation

”TrueShred was prompt, efficient, clean and extremely professional. I plan to continue to use your service and will highly recommend TrueShred to other businesses.”

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