Document Destruction: What to and Not to Shred
The Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that in 2012 over 16.6 million Americans had been the victim of fraud. There are things you should do, and know, to reduce the chances you’ll be affected by fraud in the near future.
Shredding documents is an easy way to decrease the chances of being an identity theft victim.
You might be asking yourself, but how do I know what to shred?
We’re here to help.
The most important information to shred is:
- Social Security numbers
- Birth dates
- Account Numbers
Other pieces of information you should consider shredding:
- Phone number
- Email address
Sometimes there is information that you should keep for a period of time, or need to keep indefinitely.
Documents to keep for a specific time:
- Tax records and receipts (keep for at least 7 years, the IRS has some helpful advice for different tax situations)
- Pay stubs and bank statements (keep for calendar year, according to USA.gov)
- Home/Condominium purchase or sale documentation (keep for at least six years after you sell)
- Medical bills (keep for calendar year)
- Warranty documents and receipts (keep until warranty expires)
- Annual insurance policy statements (keep until a new policy statement appears)
- Retirement plan statements (401(k), IRA, etc)
There are pieces of information you need to keep forever and should be protected. The safest thing to do would be to put them into a safedeposit box.
If you need to keep them at home, invest in a safe that is both fireproof and has a secure locking mechanism.
The goal is to not only keep people from obtaining these documents, but also protect them from such disasters as fire and flooding.
Documents to keep and store forever:
- Birth and death certificates
- Social security cards
- Pension plan documents
- ID cards and passports
- Military Discharge Paperwork
- Marriage license
- Wills and powers of attorney
These last two fall in to a different category that requires you keep them until you
relinquish the property:
- Vehicle titles and loan documents
- House deeds and mortgage documents
We offer on-site shredding services to southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois. If you have any important or sensitive documents that you need to have shredded, contact us.