The advent of computers was supposed to grant us paperless life decades ago. But we are still swamped in the stuff. And in fact, modern technology means that paper has a huge value to a new type of criminal, the identity thief.
Any document that contains personal details could prove a conduit into your online financial life. Now, even quite harmless facts, like the name of a pet, could be the answer to a secret question that could open up your accounts to attack.
Here are just some good reasons why you should use a paper shredder:
1 – The law.
If you’re an employer or have customers who give you any sort of personal details, you have a legal duty to keep those details safe. Routinely shredding documents is just one of the precautions you should have in place in your confidential waste strategy.
2 – Confidentiality.
Good old fashioned client and customer confidentiality is best protected with effectively shredded documents. Your own secret projects could be worth a fortune to competitors, so make them safe too.
3 – Convenience and Cost
A big central shredder in an office means everyone knows where to send their documents. Did you know that shredded paper takes up less space than crumpled paper? You’ll save on waste disposal costs too.
4 – Saving the Planet
As well as providing you with a more compact rubbish profile, shredded paper can actually live a second life. You can add shredded paper to compost heaps or reuse it in packaging at home or in the office.
5 – Lots of Chopping
Modern shredders can be powerful things, and many of them will cut up old credit cards as well as computer discs, keeping these safe too.
6 – Your Personal Security
This really is the big one. Any document with your personal details on is a potential risk.
If you are not filing – somewhere safe please – then you should shred all:
- Financial documents of every sort
- Credit card and bank statements
- Credit and debit card receipts
- Letters from the tax man
- Cash point receipts
- Cheques and chequebooks
- Bills from your utilities companies – they are often used as a proof of address
- Everything from your insurance company
- Dead plastic cards – credit and debit cards of course, but also any membership cards
- Pay slips – telling someone what you earn is just silly
- Old official documents – passports and drivers licenses are worth a fortune to thieves
In fact, a little overkill will do no harm. Once you start to use your shredded paper for something useful – if you have got pets, they will love making their nests in it – then you won’t want to stop at financial paperwork.
Enda O’Reilly’ is associated with Needashredder. This is a Shredder selling company in Ireland.