Identity theft is more common that anything thinks.  The government even knows how serious of a problem that they placed over 40 federal laws for all paper shredding professionals to follow.  The good thing about this is you can prevent it by simply knowing what documents to shred.  As a business owner, you’re in the prime position to protect both yourself and your clients from this crime.  We here at Shredquick want to you be fully knowledgeable about paper shredding so we sat down and wrote this simple guide.

Know What to Shred
The difference between knowing what to shred and not to shred is a bit tricky.  Even though we have a full comprehensive list on our website, we also wanted to go into a few interesting facts about some of the subcategories:

  • Personal Documents – Account records, ledgers and bank statements are some of the most important things to shred. According to the FTC in 2005 8.3 million American adults were victims of identity theft. One of the best ways to protect yourself against identity theft is to shred these types of sensitive and the surplus of credit card applications you receive in the mail everyday.
  • Business Documents – When it comes to client lists, contact lists, customer records it’s important to keep these documents secure and shred them when they are no longer needed. Laws like HIPAA and the HITECH act outline strict requirements and regulations on how companies should handle clients’ information.

Know When to Shred It
You don’t have to hold onto everything forever, but it’s a good idea to know typically how long and which types of documents you should hold on to.

  • Tax Returns – The rule of thumb is to keep tax returns for seven years. If the IRS is going to audit you, they have three years from the date you file your taxes to do so.
  • Bank Statements – Check if your bank has digital copies of bank statements online.  If so, switch on over to that and shred all your paper ones.  It’ll be easier on everyone an you also add to your carbon footprint.
  • Credit Card Applications and Old Credit Cards – Often times we think tearing these into a few pieces does the job, but an identity thief will take the time to put the pieces back together to get the information they want. Shred right away, along with all expired and broken credit cards.

Know How to Shred It
ShredQuick has several options that can fit your needs and budget. Whether you need something on site or something to drop off, we can accommodate your needs.

  • Onsite Shredding – With onsite shredding, you collect your sensitive documents in a locked box and we come by to shred your documents in our truck. You’ll have the sense of security as you watch the shredding via the truck-mounted camera. We then provide you with a certificate of destruction.
  • Offsite Shredding – We also offer off site shredding which is a great option if you don’t have a lot to shred or if you don’t want employees handling sensitive information.
  • No Strip Shredding – It’s also important that your documents are not strip shredded. Strip shredding provides shredded material that is easily reconstructed. When we shred your documents we use a pierce and tear method that creates tiny unreadable pieces that are then recycled.

Protecting yourself and your client is easy. You just have to get started.  By following these simple guidelines you can be on your way to a safer, secure way of handling business documents.  It doesn’t matter which avenue you choose, onsite or offsite shredding, it’s the fact that you are taking the responsibility to protect yourself, your business, and your customer that matters.

What changes will you make in your current system to better protect your customers? How will you implement shredding into your current system?