October 26, 2016
Document Destruction Laws | When And What To Shred
Learn What to Shred in Charlotte
Every year, millions of people are affected by identity theft. Both businesses and individuals are targets. Small businesses that have close connections to individuals are especially at risk.
The more steps that are added to protect identity, the more creative the criminals are becoming. For example, the EMV microchips that are now equipped in credit cards have steered criminals towards stealing personal information and fraudulently opening new accounts rather than hijacking existing ones. The easiest way to begin safeguarding this information is through shredding documents. There are general guidelines for knowing what documents should be shredded and when.
What to Shred Immediately:
- Credit or loan offers
- Cancelled checks – Exception: If needed for tax purposes.
- Sales & ATM receipts (after checking statement for accuracy) – Exception: If needed for warranties or for insurable items, such as jewelry.
- Expired credit cards
- Expired passports, visas, or other forms of identification (after replacing)
- Paid credit card and utility bills (after verifying receipt)
What Documents Should Be Shredded After 1 Year:
- Paid medical bills – Exception: Disputed bills, which should be kept until resolved. Also, keep for 7 years if used for tax returns.
- Bank statements
- Pay stubs
Shred After 7 Years:
- Receipts and cancelled checks used for taxes
- Tax forms, such as W-2
- Tax records, such as deductions
Never Dispose Of:
- Birth certificates
- Social Security cards
- Citizenship papers
- Marriage or divorce papers
- Adoption papers
- Wills, living wills, power of attorney documents
- Pension plans
- Business licenses
- Military records
- Death certificates
- Tax returns
In addition to having to safeguard their personal information, businesses have to safeguard their corporate and client information. Document destruction laws require that businesses handle consumer information carefully. In addition to obvious items such as credit card or bank account numbers, anything that has so much as a phone number on it should be destroyed in order to maintain trust between the business and their clientele. When deciding on how to dispose of paperwork, it is always best to err on the side of caution and choose shredding.
For help in knowing what to shred and for assistance with following document destruction laws in your area, call the experts at PROSHRED® Charlotte at 1-704-533-9555.