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  • Oct 19, 2022

Tech Talk with Jeff - Document Shredding

We all receive a ton of mail and other documents that we eventually need to dispose of. Ah, where is the wastebasket...

Not so fast! What is on the item you are looking to toss? Is there any information someone could use against you?

Just like with electronic data, you need to be careful with your paper-based information. I can hear the question. But, why would anyone go through my trash? It is trash, garbage. Yuck.

The reality is that there are people who will go through trash (dumpster diving) looking for information they can use, like a credit card offer, a password sheet or a statement. These are all good sources of information for identity theft. You would be amazed at what can be done with a little bit of sensitive information. Tearing the paper up does not work to keeping someone from using it. They just need a little time and tape to put the pieces back together.

So, what to do? When you have information on paper that needs to be destroyed, put it through a shredder or burn it (if you have a proper place to do this). That makes it unusable.

Examples of information that should be destroyed and not tossed in the trash are:

  • Statements of any type
  • Anything with a Social Security number on it
  • Credit Card offers (yes, scammers do submit them and steal your identity)
  • Boarding Passes (there's a ton of information on these about you and your trip) Side note: Never post a picture of a boarding pass and never show the bar code of anything including concert/show tickets. It can be scanned off the picture.
  • Prescription information
  • Resumes (there's a lot of historical information about you on these)
  • Receipts
  • Medical papers

The list can go on and on. Basically, if it has personal information of any type on it, it should be shredded and not tossed in the trash. Once the trash leaves your home, it is no longer yours or under your control. You never know who is going to have the opportunity and motivation to dig through it.

Be aware and be safe!

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