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4 Commonly-Forgotten Documents You Should Shred

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A hand holding up a piece of plastic in the shape of a number 4You’re diligent about shredding documents because you know that in 2021, there were 5.7 million reports of identity theft and fraud, totaling $5.8 billion in losses, and you refuse to be a statistic.

In your deliberate attempt to protect the information on your printed documents by having them professionally shredded, you may be inadvertently tossing some sensitive documents in the recycling bin.

To avoid becoming the subject of the next identity theft documentary, make sure you shred these commonly-forgotten documents:

1. You’ve Got (Junk) Mail

You hate it. I hate it. Everyone hates it. So, it goes directly from the mailbox into the garbage can. But those sealed envelopes contain your name, address, and possibly your phone number, bank account information, birth date, information about your habits, hobbies, purchases, and banking history. Have that junk mail from retailers and institutions shredded, even if the account is closed.

2. Travel Plans

That visit to The Grand Budapest Hotel, Key Largo, or wherever that last trip took you generated a large amount of paper documents. Boarding passes are loaded with visible information and references to even more. Event and travel tickets have bar codes, names, and frequent-flyer numbers. Thieves can use information to hack into your accounts and view upcoming travel plans, check into flights, and even cancel trips. And showing photos of travel documents on social media? That’s a big no-no.

3. Birth or Death Announcements

Birth announcements for the Twins or death announcements for dear Uncle Buck need to be shredded. Identity thieves feel no compunction about targeting kids, the deceased, and the mourning family members left behind. Share announcements and birth dates only with those who need to know and shred the rest. For those who have passed, scan and shred any documents that are no longer active. Be aware that a death notice may also allow for easy identification of an empty home perfect for a burglary.

4. Old Financial Statements

It’s tempting to keep the financial statements that list All the Money (you have) in the World, but they are mainly for paying your bills and balancing accounts. Once your credit card and bank statements and utility bills are paid or balanced, shred them. Shred old credit cards as well. And don’t forget to shred those pay stubs and tax returns once the legal retention period has passed.

The bottom line is, don’t let fear or nostalgia tempt you to save documents that are no longer needed. When you’re ready to dispose of them, make sure you work with a local, reputable shredding company to keep your information secure.

Wiggins Shredding is locally owned and provides secure, mobile shredding services to residents and businesses in Pennsylvania and Tri-State MD, NJ and DE. If you have questions or would like a free quote, just give us a call at 610-692-TEAR (8327) or complete the form on this page.

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