What to Shred and What Not to Shred
There have been countless cases of identity theft and fraud so, taking preventative measures to reduce such incidences in both your home and workplace is quite imperative when considering what to shred. Shredding is a secure way you can get rid of documents containing sensitive information concerning your company or organization. However, there are some documents that you will need to hang onto since you never know when you might need them. Below is a primer indicating which documents to keep and for how long as well as what to shred.
Documents to Keep Long Term
- Academic records: These include transcripts, diplomas and any portfolio work that could prove useful in the future when applying for a job.
- Birth certificates
- Adoption papers
- Baptismal certificates
- Driver’s license
- Employment records including agreements, clauses, performance reviews and disciplinary files
- Medical records
- Marriage certificates
- Military records
- Social security cards
- Retirement and pension records
Documents to Keep for a Limited Period
These documents can be shredded as often as weekly, monthly, annually, or when it’s deemed fit.
- Bills: Every one year for anything warranty or tax related. Any other bill like credit card bills should be shredded as soon as they have been settled.
- Bank statement: one month
- Home improvement receipts: These should be kept until the home is sold
- Investment records: keep these for at least seven years after closing the account or selling the security.
- Paychecks: Shred these in one years’ time after receiving your W-2
- Leases: Avoid getting rid of leases until you’ve moved out and received your rightful deposit back from the landlord.
- Vehicle records: These records should be kept until the car, boat or motorcycle has been sold.
- Tax documents: These include your filing and accompanying documents such as W-2s and receipts. You may shred them after seven years.
- Sale Receipts: All the receipts pertaining to major purchases like electronics and appliances should be kept for at least seven years. The only time you should keep receipts for purchases like groceries and clothing is when you know you are going to need them for a return.
What to Shred
- Bank statements
- Copies of birth certificates
- ATM receipts
- Cancelled and voided checks
- Credit reports
- Expired driver’s licenses
- Employment documents containing any identifying information
- Used airline tickets
- Travel itineraries
- Utility bills
- Transcripts containing identifying information
- Documents containing social security number
- Medical and dental records
- Legal documents
- Items with a signature including contracts, leases, and letters
- Expired visas and passports
- Luggage tags
- Receipts containing credit card numbers and account numbers among other identifying information
- Utility bills such as electric, gas, cable, internet, TV and telephone bills
If any of the documents mentioned above are still active, you will want to hold onto them for reference. Establishing a simple filing system will allow you to file documents by topic and subsequently shred them when they are no longer in use.
While acquiring a document shredder could be a good idea, chances are that confidential information might still fall into unauthorized hands. This is where the professional document shredding services of PROSHRED® Fort Lauderdale come in handy. A reliable and trustworthy paper shredding company like PROSHRED® Fort Lauderdale will advise you on what to shred and what to keep. This will save you time while safeguarding your confidential information. Call today (954) 507-0211 for shredding services and a customized plan.