To Shred or Not To Shred?
Attending or hosting a shredding event? Consider these often-overlooked, shreddable documents!
When it comes to privacy protection, there are certain things that obviously belong in the shredder. You don’t want your social security number, credit cards, or birthday falling into the hands of thieves. In fact, you probably want to protect your address from falling into the wrong hands, too. This, by default, means most of your mail should probably find its way to the shredder for safety reasons. But, what else should you be shredding that you might be overlooking? Here are a few things to think about:
1. Anything with Your Signature
You may not realize just how many times you sign your name in a typical day, but as soon as you start to accumulate the papers that contain your signature, you’ll realize this includes everything from birthday cards to credit card receipts. Thieves who are skilled at identity theft and check forgery will find many illegal uses for your signature. To prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, anything with a signature on it—whether it’s your signature or that of someone else—should always be shredded.
Your resume contains tons of information that can be valuable for cracking password codes and security questions. If an unsavory person winds up with this document, you’ve handed over your address, birthday, employment history, and possibly your educational background, as well. Resumes are a veritable synopsis of everything bad people could use to destroy your good name, reputation, and credit.
3. Anything Involving A Child
Most parents never think to check their children’s credit reports because, well, they’re children. Unfortunately, the blank canvas that is kids’ credit histories is also prime real estate for thieves who know many people won’t discover anything’s been stolen for a couple of decades. At that point, when your child goes to purchase a car or home, or even obtain certain types of employment, he or she may discover damage that’s been going on for years. This is an incredibly difficult situation to correct, and it takes a lot of time and frustration to unravel it. Take preventative measures by checking your children’s credit reports once a year and shredding anything with their personal information, including (but not limited to):
- Medical documents
- School forms
- Report cards
- Copies of transcripts
4. Prescription Labels
Have you ever wondered how prescription drug dealers get the products they sell on the streets and in schools? Sometimes, they steal the medication or buy it from people who get prescriptions lawfully; other times, they use the information on pill bottles that have been tossed out to optimize unsuspecting peoples’ refills. The small bit of personal information that’s on a pill bottle can be everything thieves need when they have the goal of stealing on their minds.
5. Junk Mail
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because it’s junk mail, it doesn’t contain anything personal or private that can harm you. In fact, the opposite is quite true. Mail thieves love credit card offers as they’re usually ripe for being stolen because the credit card companies already have enough personal information to open an account. Thieves will use any other personal information that’s not been shredded to verify your date of birth, place of employment, and other information that might be necessary to complete the credit card application.
6. Travel Documents
Just like people warn not to post vacation photos on social media because you’re alerting thieves that you’re not home, travel documents can signal dates you’ll be away, especially if you toss them in the trash before your excursion occurs. To be safe, always shred anything that contains travel information of any kind.
At Higher Information Group, the security of your sensitive information is the foremost priority of our shredding division. Learn how we help keep individuals’ and businesses’ private data safe throughout Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and York today. When you’re ready, schedule a pick-off of drop-off for your shred session!
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