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With identity theft becoming a growing issue throughout the United States, proper paper shredding has never been more important. This week, Anthem Inc., who is amongst the largest health insurers in the country, announced that the personal information of approximately 80 million employees and customers had been hacked. Security breaches like this have been occurring left and right recently and it has made many Americans raise their eyebrows and take a deeper look into just how carefully they are protecting themselves and their family against potential breaches and hacks. Experts estimate that as many as 100 million Americans are currently vulnerable to misuse of their personal information. Protecting yourself from security breaches begins at home.
Learning what to keep and what to discard is the first step. But beyond that, people must understand the proper methods of disposing of these materials. “Getting rid of” risky documents is only worthwhile if it is done correctly. The following personal documents should be destroyed correctly:
- Bank statements
- Tax forms
- Pay stubs
- Legal documents
- All bills
- Medical records
- Expired credit cards and old licenses
- Birth certificate copies
- Employee documents
- Canceled and voided checks
Documents, both paper and electronic, that have information like social security numbers, birthdates, or account information must be disposed of properly. As such, it is highly recommended to consult with a document destruction professional to ensure that it is done correctly. Identity theft and security breaches can happen to anyone. Conduct due diligence now to avoid potentially damaging situations in the future.