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Confidential Document Destruction : Top 20 Things to Shred

One of the fastest growing crimes of our time is identity theft. In recent years, identity thieves have left many people feeling uneasy and with good reason. As soon as someone steals something that can provide them with your identity, such as financial records, legal documents, or medical records, they can use everything that you have worked for to their benefit.

It is relatively easy for someone to steal your identity, especially for those who know what they are doing. Once your information has been stolen, your bank account can be emptied or the balance on your credit cards can be run up. It is hard to catch an identity thief and it’s not easy to fix what they have done. The best way to be safe from identity theft is to prevent it. In order to protect yourself, you need to know what a thief is looking for and be sure to shred such documents.

Here are the top 20 documents to shred (in no particular order) to protect yourself against identity theft :

1. Financial records are an obvious hit for identity theft. These documents contain all your financial information, possibly even your account numbers.

2. Magnetic media – tapes, disks, CD’s or anything storing electronic data.

3. Payroll records. These documents contain how much money you make, exactly what thieves want to know.

4. Legal documents. Even though these documents might not contain financial information, they most likely contain personal information that can lead to your financial info.

5. Account records – which contain personal information like your address, phone number and sometimes even your social security number.

6. Medical records

7. Class Rosters

8. Maps and blueprints

9. New product proposals. If this falls into the hands of a thief, they can propose your product before you do.

10. Inventory lists. This is like a map for a robbery. Knowing what you have makes it really easy to know what to steal.

11. Confidential correspondence – such as letters, emails, etc.

12. Customer lists and estimates

13. Tax records. Tax records contain lots of personal information. Also how high your taxes are is dependent on how much you make.

14. Outdated business records

15. Invoices

16. Cancelled checks

17. Price Lists

18. Microfilm and fiche

19. Credit and ID Cards

20. Junk Mail – this is overlooked quite often.


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