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Which Documents Should I Shred?

Identity theft has become one of the United States' most commonly committed crimes. The Federal Trade Commission reports that a whopping 9 million people become victims of this crime every year. However, you might be wondering, "What documents should I shred?" Here's a short life of some of the items that need to go into your shredder.


Identity theft has become one of the United States' most commonly committed crimes. The Federal Trade Commission reports that a whopping 9 million people become victims of this crime every year. But you can reduce your risk of becoming a statistic by buying a paper shredder and using it regularly to protect your private information. However, you might be wondering, "What documents should I shred?" Here's a short life of some of the items that need to go into your shredder.
  1. Credit and debit card receipts. Obviously, anything containing your credit or debit card number should be shredded. Otherwise someone might grab the number and start making unauthorized purchases which can be a real pain to deal with. (It wreak havoc on your life in other ways too, unfortunately.) Expired cards should also be destroyed, as should ATM receipts and voided and canceled checks.
  2. Unsolicited credit card offers. Nobody likes receiving junk mail and getting a bunch of unwanted credit card offers can be particularly annoying. Shred them and they'll be out of your sight for. You should also get rid of any other junk mail that contains your name and address.
  3. Old pay stubs. If you don't need your old pay stubs anymore, destroy them. They contain such private information as your name, address, Social Security number, and the name and address of one of your employers. Part - or even all - of your bank account number will may also be visible if you use(d) direct deposit.
  4. Medical records. Another good thing to shred is anything pertaining to your medical history including doctor's notes, prescription information, and so on. Do you really want people reading all about your private medical issues, such as the medications you take or the ailment you had last year? We think not.
  5. Insurance cards. Insurance cards contain a plethora of private information such as your name, policy number, and so on. If it's a card for your auto insurance, your car's make, model, and vehicle identification number are probably visible too.
  6. Documents containing your signature. Your signature is a vital part of your identity. After all, you use it to sign everything important from checks to tax returns, from your driver's license to personal and business correspondence. Shredding paper that you've signed can prevent your John Hancock from being forged.
  7. Anything containing your mother's maiden name. No, this is a snub against your mom. It's just that one of the security questions commonly asked by credit card companies and such is "What's your mother's maiden name?" If people know Mom's former surname, it's super easy for them to steal your identity.

Finally, just to be safe, shred any documents that contain your name, Social Security number, address, and/or phone number. Bottom line: if you think you should shred it, you probably should. Follow your instinct on this one. You can't shred too much, but you can definitely shred too little. So shred anything containing your personal information. That way you'll not only become the victim of identity theftHealth Fitness Articles, you'll have piece of mind as well.

Article Tags: Documents Should, Private Information, Anything Containing, Credit Card

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If you'd like to purchase a Paper Shredder, you should really visit MyBinding.com. They have a large assortment of these devices and they also carry a huge selection of Pouch Laminators. Plus, you'll get free shipping on all orders over $75.00. Check it out for yourself today!



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