10 Reasons to Shred

Shredding documents takes time, but it’s an important step you can take to protect your privacy and your identity. Here are ten reasons a document should be shredded:

1: Your personally identifying information is on the document.
This includes your name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address, as well as social security or pin numbers. Any of this information can be used to piece together a stolen identity.

2: Your account information is on the document.
This includes complete or partial account numbers, account address or e-mail address, pin numbers, and recurring payment information. Any of this information can potentially be used to make fraudulent charges on an account.

3: Your business information is on the document.
This includes your business tax ID number, your social security number, your business address or telephone number (which may be used as an account number), pin numbers, or account numbers. Any of this information could be used for ID fraud or to make fraudulent charges on business accounts.

4: Your payment information is on the document.
This includes routing numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, or an e-mail address (if paid via an online payment system). Any of this information, including partial information, can be used to make fraudulent charges.

5: Your security system information is on the document.
This includes the pass code you use to shut down your security system electronically, the password you use to shut down your security system orally, or any information that may be used to access these details. These codes could be used to disable your security system without your authorization.

6: Your computer passwords are on the document.
This includes the password to access your computer, laptop, or smartphone and the passwords you use for specific websites and online accounts. While it is difficult to remember all the passwords we need, this information should be stored securely.

7: Personal information identifying someone else is on the document.
This includes name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, as well as social security or pin numbers. It is especially important to protect the identities of children, because their identities can be stolen for years before anyone notices.

8: Someone else’s account information is on the document.
If you do business with someone else and produce or use an account number to complete a transaction, then these documents should be secured as long as they are needed and then shredded. Otherwise, someone could use this information to make a fraudulent transaction.

9: The document contains a transaction history.
If a document contains a transaction history, then it can be used to make fraudulent transactions more difficult to recognize, because the transaction history can be modified in smaller increments.

10: The document contains private information that should not be publicly disclosed.
This includes sensitive information that someone wants to keep confidential, including medical information, personal letters, and diary entries.

Identity thieves are out there and can threaten your privacy and peace of mind. It’s time to shred away the risks, and use these ten reasons when determining which documents should be shredded.