Identity theft is a serious crime that can have a lasting impact on your life. According to the Federal Trade Commission, “In 2016, there were 16.7 million victims of identity theft, up from 15.4 million in 2015.” This is why it is so important to take steps to protect yourself from this type of crime. One way to do this is by using a shredding company to securely destroy your documents.
What Is Document Shredding
Document shredding is a process of shredding documents into small pieces so that they cannot be reconstructed. This is an important step in protecting yourself from identity theft because it ensures that your personal information is not accessible to criminals. Document shredding companies also offer different shredding services, so you can find one that best suits your needs.
The Type Of Shredding Services Offered
The type of shredding services offered by a company is important to consider because you want to make sure that your documents are properly destroyed. Some companies offer on-site shredding, which means that your documents will be shredded at your location. This is a good option if you want to witness the shredding process. Other companies offer off-site shredding, which means that your documents will be picked up and taken to a secure facility for shredding.
What To Shred:
Documents Containing Financial Information
An identity thief could potentially use anything that comes from a financial institution, such as account numbers, passwords, and even financial documents such as checks or loan applications. Although you should keep copies of bank and credit card statements for record-keeping purposes, you are only required to do so for one year. You should destroy anything older, canceled checks, canceled checks, and any online orders that contain your bank or billing information.
Documents Containing Personal Information
Identity thieves are interested in personal information, such as your name, address, and credit card numbers. Your date of birth and social security number are very important. Shredding any documents or items that contain this information is a good idea. Be careful with other information you provide, such as your full name, address, home or work telephone numbers, and driver’s license number. This also applies to any mail you receive from the Internal Revenue Service, documents from the Department of Motor Vehicles, and any employment-related correspondence. Any documents related to your travel, other than your passport, should be shredded.
Documents Containing Account Information
Fraudsters also try to steal account numbers, usernames, and passwords. All documents printed with this information, such as credit card statements, personal and property tax statements, invoices, etc., must be shredded. You should also shred mail that contains information about your utility accounts, cell phone, and internet bills.
Hard Drive Destruction
Hard drive destruction is another service offered by some shredding companies. This service destroys your hard drive so that your personal information cannot be accessed. This is an important step in protecting yourself from identity theft because it ensures that your personal information is not accessible to criminals.
Certificate Of Destruction
Shredding companies offer a Certificate of Destruction after they have shredded your documents. This certificate proves that your documents have been destroyed and can be used as proof if you ever need to file an audit report. So be sure to pick a company that provides this certificate.
Identity theft is a serious problem, but there are things you can do to protect yourself. One of the best ways to protect your identity is to use a document shredding service.
Desert Document Shredders is AAA Naid Certified, which means that we comply with the highest standards in the shredding industry. You can rely on us to get the job done securely. Contact us today for more information.