If you already have a paper shredder or you’re thinking about buying one for your home or office, perhaps you’re wondering which documents you should shred. A good rule of thumb would Healthy Lifestyle Habits Pdf be this: shred anything you wouldn’t want a stranger looking at. That said, there are eight types of documents you absolutely must shred. Continue reading to find out what they are.
Papers containing Social Security Numbers. This should go without saying. Your Social Security Number (and those of your employees, customers, and clients) is the number one thing identity thieves go after when they’re plotting their misdeeds. So be sure to destroy anything with a Social Security Number on it.
Passwords. You know how you’re required to choose a password when you sign up for online banking or even register for a social networking website such as Facebook? Passwords are a prime target for identity thieves. So that scrap of paper on which you scribbled the password to your Hotmail account? Destroy it!
Employment of the federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) law requires every company in the United States to properly dispose of sensitive employee information. This includes everything from performance reviews to discharge papers, benefits information and, especially, anything on which an employee’s salary information appears. Not complying with FACTA can lead to big trouble. Luckily, shredding can prevent that.
Legal papers. If you’re an attorney, you know well that attorney-client privilege requires the safekeeping of your clients’ information. This applies whether you’re in general practice or a more specialized area such as family law, bankruptcy, or criminal defense. Your clients are paying you big bucks to represent them and protect their rights, and you owe it to them to respect their privacy by not throwing their information out with the trash.
Health-related information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is a federal law designed to protect patient privacy. Under this law, any health information needs to be safeguarded and disposed of properly, from medical records to health insurance claims. Not complying with HIPPA can not only be disastrous (and potentially embarrassing) for your clients and patients, but it can be catastrophic for your practice or health insurance company. Do you really want to find yourself out of business?
Travel papers. Unless you’re holding on to those used airplane tickets from your trip to New York for sentimental reasons, chances are you just want to Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes toss the things. Shredding your old travel documents – including your expired passports and itineraries – can help protect you from identity theft.
Business documents. In these rough economic times, it’s important for your business to stay competitive and in the game, so to speak. That said, there are certain documents you don’t want the competition getting their hands on, such as sales reports, marketing plans, and operating expense data. Shredding these types of items will enable you to stay successful.
Financial papers. This is one should be an no-brainer. Anything that pertains to your financial life needs to be shredded once you’re done with it. That includes bank and credit card statements, those annoying credit card offers, canceled checks, and so on. Even your old credit and debit cards can be shredded with the right paper shredder, so you can be sure your credit card and bank data will never wind up in the wrong hands.
Now you know which documents you absolutely must shred. So the next time you’re tempted to simply throw out a bank statement or other sensitive document, think twice and shred it instead!