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Should You Shred These Items?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

Should You Shred These Items?

How to Delete Documents

The most effective technique to protect yourself from identity theft is to shred documents. As a general rule, there are some documents that must be shredded at all costs. Account numbers, birth dates, maiden names, passwords and PINs, signatures, and Social Security numbers are all examples.

Place documents in your home file system by topic if they are still “active” and you need to keep them for reference. Once they’re no longer in use, shred them.

What Documents Should You Shred?

When you’re finished with these documents and no longer require them, shred them as follows:

  • Recipients from ATMs
  • Statements of account
  • Copies of birth certificates
  • Checks that have been canceled or invalidated
  • Bills from credit cards
  • Reports on credit
  • Licenses to drive (expired)
  • Documents containing any identifiable information from a previous job
  • Passports and visas that have expired
  • Account numbers for investments
  • Documents of legal significance
  • Transactions involving investments, stocks, and real estate
  • Items that have been signed (leases, contracts, letters, etc.)
  • Tags for luggage
  • Records of medical and dental care
  • Documents containing a Social Security number
  • PIN numbers or passwords
  • stubs of pay
  • Credit card applications that have been pre-approved
  • Receipts that include account numbers, credit card numbers, or other identifying information
  • Forms of taxation
  • Transcripts containing personal information
  • Routes of travel
  • Airline tickets that have been used
  • Bills for utilities (telephone, gas, electric, water, cable TV, internet, etc.)

Everything else, including documentation, can be recycled. Make sure you have a flexible filing system in place to keep track of these documents. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of regularly going through your stored documents. When paying bills, filing taxes, or taking care of any recurrent activity, try to do this so you don’t forget and your paperwork piles up.

Set up a Computer System

Setting up an electronic filing system to replace your paper filing will save you space and eliminate paper clutter. Because it’s easier than ever, an electronic file system makes a lot of sense.

To get started, you’ll need a scanner and a location to save your files, such as a computer folder system and a cloud backup, as well as an external hard drive. The more backups you have, both at home and offsite, the better equipped you’ll be to toss the stack of paperwork without fear of losing crucial information.

Create generic folders for various types of documents (e.g. household, taxes, auto, birth certificates, etc.) Because electronic file systems are searchable, you don’t need to be overly specific while saving documents.

Then, according to the contents, scan each document and place it in a folder. Give each one a distinct filename to help you find it easily using your computer’s search function. Additionally, including the date at the end of the filename can assist you in distinguishing between documents of the same type from various time periods. Instead of naming your utility bill utilitystatement.pdf, rename it utilitystatement-Feb2019.pdf.

A number of apps are also available to assist you in swiftly recording and storing a range of documents. Many of them can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to get rid of paperwork (particularly receipts) when you’re not at home.

UCI Document Destruction

At UCI, we are certified and trained in shredding any and all documents, including hard drives. If your business is in need of a professional shredding company, give us a call at 806-372-7722 today!