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Do’s and Don’t of Paper Shredding

Don’t: Hoard Outdated Documents

It’s tempting to hold onto old paperwork for sentimental reasons or out of a vague notion that you might need it someday. However, clinging to outdated documents puts you at risk of identity theft and financial harm. When in doubt, it’s best to dispose of them promptly.

Do: Discard Outdated Documents

Unsure of when to let go of certain documents? Here’s a simple guideline:

  • Immediately: Destroy invoices, statements, credit card offers, and other non-essential mail once you’ve paid your bills. Also, remove and destroy prescription labels after finishing medication.
  • Within One Year: Shred paid bills, bank statements, and pay stubs.
  • After Seven Years: Safely dispose of tax records and related documents, as well as receipts and stubs.
  • Other: Some records should never be destroyed, but expired documents like passports and old insurance policies can be safely discarded. 

Don’t: Toss Documents into the Trash or Recycle Bin

Your trash and recycling bins are prime targets for thieves seeking confidential information. Simply tearing up documents by hand won’t deter them.

Do: Shred Your Papers

Ensure your documents are shredded into tiny, unreconstructible pieces. Don’t overlook items like boarding passes, magazine labels, or prescription labels—they all contain personally-identifiable information (PII). 

Don’t: Use an Office Shredder

Office shredders may not shred documents small enough to prevent reconstruction, leaving your information vulnerable.

Do: Shred with a Reputable Shredding Company

Partnering with a professional shredding company offers peace of mind. Look for companies that offer collection containers to store your documents in until they are securely destroyed.

Make Knight Archives your secure shredding choice!