|Document Destruction: Security Through Shredding
Shredders Help Prevent Identity Theft
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) has teamed with Shredder manufacturers to offer people tips on how to prevent identity theft. Thieves can't steal what they can't read, so it can't be said enough-one of the most important steps you can take in preventing identity theft is to properly dispose of personal information so it doesn't end up in the wrong hands.
Experts agree that the best way to dispose of documents that contain your personal information is to shred them.NCPC strongly recommends using a cross-cut shredder. Unlike strip-cut models or other in which the pieces can potentially be put back together, cross-cut or confetti-cut machines produce smaller pieces that are more difficult to reassemble, which ultimately provides greater document security.
Shred This-Recommended Top 20
It's not difficult to determine what you should shred. Essentially, any document containing information that you don't want others to have should be shredded. People who buy their first shredder are surprised as they often end up shredding twice as much as they expected. It's a simple step that goes a long way toward securing your information. Here's a brief list of documents that should be shredded:
- Obsolete financial records, including loan applications
- Pre-approved credit card applications
- Personal medical records or physician statements
- Correspondence and tax preparation worksheets
- Receipts for purchases
- Bank statements
- ATM receipts
- Credit card statements
- Cancelled checks
- Mail and old records
- Utility bills
- Credit card charges
- Insurance forms
- Investment transactions
- Expired charge cards
- Mailing labels from magazines
- Pay stubs
- Old driver's licenses or passports
- Expired insurance and membership cards
- Any documents that may contain Social Security numbers, birth dates, your mother's maiden name and any account numbers or online passwords
Things to consider before purchasing a shredder.
What will you be shredding?
There are many different types of shredders, and which shredder best meets your needs. Several of the items to consider are:
- How sensitive is the material you need to shred?
- What type of paper will you be shredding?
- How often will you need to use your shredder?
- Would you like one large shredder, or several smaller shredders?
- How many sheets do you need to shred at a time?
- What size of paper do you need to shred?
- Is space/mobility an issue?
How sensitive is the material you need to shred?
Shredders cut paper into smaller, unrecognizable pieces of paper. Different shredders shred paper into different sizes of paper. The more important the document, the more important it is to use a shredder that will shred the documents into very small pieces.
What type of paper will you be shredding?
Paper comes in many different forms. Some paper is thicker and other paper is thinner, some paper is glossy and other sheets of paper are coarse. You will want to be sure your shredder can handle the paper you will be shredding.
How often will you need to use your shredder?
You will need to take into consideration how often you will be using your paper shredder. Some paper shredders are made only for shredding documents a few times per week, where other shredders can be used continuously. Purchasing a shredder that cannot handle the volume of shredding you need can be very frustrating.
Would you like one large shredder, or several smaller shredders?
Some offices will buy one large shredder for all their shredding needs, where other offices will purchase several smaller shredders and place them throughout the office.
How many sheets do you need to shred at a time?
Different shredders can shred different amounts of paper. Smaller shredders can only handle a few sheets of paper, where larger shredders can shred many sheets of paper at a time. Strip cut shredders can always shred more paper at a time than a cross cut shredder.
What size of paper do you need to shred?
Some shredders are designed to shred small letters, where other shredders can shred newspapers and phone books. You will want to take into consideration what you will need to shred now and what you will be shredding in the future.
Is space/mobility an issue?
Shredders can be very large and heavy. If you need to take a shredder from one office to another, you may want to get a lighter shredder or one with mobile casters. If space is an issue, you may want to consider a thinner shredder that can fit into a tight space.
Read More About:
FACTA Disposal Rule
Shredder Usage Chart