ITEMS THAT CANNOT BE SHREDDED: GARBAGE AND FOOD PRODUCTS • WET PAPER • LARGE METAL ITEMS OR 3-RING BINDERS • WOOD AND WOOD PRODUCTS • PLASTICS INCLUDING STYROFOAM • TONER CARTRIDGES • VCR OR MAGNETIC TAPES • CD'S, DVD'S OR X-RAYS • BACKUP/STORAGE MEDIA (FLASHDRIVES, ETC.)
Paper shredders increase security risks. You shred your documents to prevent identity theft and maintain the confidentiality of your information. But your paper shredding machine doesn't offer the most secure method for completely destroying confidential information.
Should I shred everything with my name and address?
You should shred any mail you don't need to hang on to including bills, notices from the DMV, IRS, and Social Security Administration, etc. In fact, anything containing any personal information should go into the shredder if you don't need to save it. While this may seem a bit excessive, it isn't really.
Most experts suggest that you can shred many other documents sooner than seven years. After paying credit card or utility bills, shred them immediately. Also, shred sales receipts, unless related to warranties, taxes, or insurance.
Hold the returns and supporting documents for at least seven years. The IRS can randomly audit you three years after you file — or six years afterward if it thinks you skipped out on reporting your income by at least 25%.
The chemicals and coatings old photos contain can be harmful if left in a landfill to decompose. The additional benefit for securely destroying your old photos is that you know you'll never see them again. The photos won't get fished out of your trash bin, garbage truck or recycling bin and end up online.
Shredding is a common way to destroy paper documents and is usually quick, easy and cost-effective. Many retailers sell shredders for use within your office or premises, enabling you to shred and dispose of the documents yourself.
The most important reason to get a paper shredding machine for personal or office use is to avoid identity theft. You can never be too safe when it comes to your personal information. To protect your business from data theft, we recommend securely destroying all confidential documents before discarding them.
Any and all print outs, letters, official documents, medical records, etc. Anything containing sensitive information. You can even throw in the envelopes, folders, staples, and paper clips that are included with them if you want, the shredders can easily handle them.
Is it safe to throw away old bank statements, or do you need to shred them first? According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should shred documents containing sensitive information, including bank statements, to protect yourself from identity theft.
Knowing that, a good rule of thumb is to save any document that verifies information on your tax return—including Forms W-2 and 1099, bank and brokerage statements, tuition payments and charitable donation receipts—for three to seven years.
What do you do with old family pictures no one wants?
Generally, it's not advisable to throw away negatives because you can use them to bring your photo back to life if the picture gets lost or damaged. But if you have no other use for the film, you can try sending them to a local company for recycling.
Do you need to keep old house insurance documents?
You do not need to retain old bills. Current insurance policies for building and contents. Outdated policies should be discarded. Warranties, manuals and receipts for household appliances or guarantees for home improvements should also be retained.
You will usually receive a new set of policy documents annually, or in some cases, semi-annually. Once you have received these, it is no longer necessary to keep the old ones. It should be standard practice for you to file the new copies at the same time you discard the old ones.
Monthly statements that you receive from banks and credit cards, including other financial papers such as ATM receipts, bank deposit and withdrawal slips, and canceled checks, can be shredded as soon as you reconcile them (or digitize them for tax purposes).
How long should you keep bank statements and canceled checks?
How long must a bank keep canceled checks / check records / copies of checks? Generally, if a bank does not return canceled checks to its customers, it must either retain the canceled checks, or a copy or reproduction of the checks, for five years.
How long should you keep monthly statements and bills?
Most bank statements should be kept accessible in hard copy or electronic form for one year, after which they can be shredded. Anything tax-related such as proof of charitable donations should be kept for at least three years.