Secure paper shredders serve an integral purpose for businesses and government agencies alike. Even individuals can benefit from the privacy these devices afford. The United States Supreme Court, in a 1988 ruling for the case of California v. Greenwood, ruled that the privacy of one's trash cannot be protected under the law. Thus, when sensitive documents are disposed of fully intact, they can be found and utilized for identity theft and other damaging crimes. You may not even realize when you become a victim of identity theft -- 24% of consumers find out by accident.
Shredders help to avert these disasters. In particular, high security paper shredders such as level 6 shredders can ensure that no sensitive information ends up available for acquisition by bad actors. Once you have a shredder, though, how do you decide which documents to shred and which simply to throw away?
Documents to keep
While there are many documents you can simply scan and then dispose of, there are some of which you should always keep a physical copy. Important identification documents, such as passports, licenses, social security cards, birth certificates, business and marriage licenses, wills, and titles should be stored in a safe location in your home or in a secure storage facility.
Documents to shred
The list of documents which should be shredded before disposal or recycling is long, as essentially any document containing personal information should be shredded. This includes:
- Old plane tickets
- Expired ID cards
- Bank statements and ATM receipts
- Documents containing your social security number
- Documents containing credit information
- Investment documents
- Old pay stubs and voided checks
- Much, much more
Security threats such as identity theft are scary, but there are easy steps you can take to reduce the chances that they happen to you. For nearly all personal and commercial purposes, level 3 or 4 shredders will do the job. Level 6 shredders were developed for government agencies with the greatest security needs. However, if you are particularly concerned about information leakage, you can buy any level you like from Capital Shredder Corp.