It’s readily assumed that companies who deal with financial, legal, or medical documents must get rid of that information in a safe way. Every form you fill out at a doctor’s visit and every bank signature, after it’s processed and recorded, must then be destroyed.
You might be surprised to learn that there are just as many documents in your own house that deserve the same level of consideration and unfortunately, throwing them out won’t resolve the issue. It’s important to consider the very real possibility that it might not be the local trash collector who removes your garbage from the edge of the curb.
Documents from Home: Not as Secure as You Think
Americans receive as much as 90 billion pieces of advertising (more colloquially known as “junk” or “spam”) mail every year. Credit card offers, come-ins for special sales deals, and offers from specialty retailers clog up the mailbox, and usually end up at the bottom of a deep pile of papers to sort through. Most of that mail is then thrown out without ever being opened, but as little as you may like the idea of reading through every ad that comes your way, this can be a terrible mistake to make.
Laws vary according to state, but once trash is placed on the curb for pickup, it loses certain privacy protections, becoming available (sometimes without consequence) to nosy passerby. Sure, you may think, but who would be interested in my old junk mail?
Identity thieves and credit fraudsters leap at the chance to gather any personal information they possibly can. This includes your last known address, your date of birth, the shops you frequent, and your credit card account numbers – all of which can pop up from time to time in advertising mail. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to secure your documents once you place them out for trash collection, which means that any preventative measures must be taken before they’re discarded.
It’s not just junk mail that you should be aware of, either. A child’s report card, business documents, a bank statement, and letters from government institutions like the IRS all have information that could be dangerous in the wrong hands.
Available Shredding Options for Residents
This is a lot of liability to consider, but the good news is that there’s plenty you can do about it. The go-to for many individuals is document shredding. Service statements and bank memos become worthless to thieves when they’re transformed into tiny, unreadable bits of paper.
Making sure that documents have been properly (and sufficiently) shredded can be confusing. Standard, single-strand shredders are woefully inadequate, as the documents can be reconstructed with relative ease. Commercial shredding services, however, may seem like much more than what a typical household requires. The solution to this problem lies in off-site document shredding.
“Off-site” refers to where the documents are shredded and processed, usually at the physical address of a shredding service. Residential documents can be picked up by a truck, deposited into a secure transport bin, and shredded at the facility. As an added benefit, shredding through this method comes with a Certificate of Destruction, which serves as legal verification that the documents were disposed of according to all applicable privacy regulations. Once the documents have been destroyed, they will be safely sent for environmentally friendly disposal.
The entire process guarantees that only you and professionally trained, diligently certified staff handle your sensitive information.
Off-Site Document Shredding
Tri-State Shredding recognizes the importance of personal security for members of our community. That’s why we’re proud to offer to shred to all residents and non-business members of our region. Every Friday from 9:00 to 11:00AM, you are invited to bring in up to 5 banker boxes full of whatever documents you would like safely and securely destroyed. We’re AAA Certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), so you can be certain your documents are handled and shredded according to the highest industry standards.
If you’d like more information about our shredding process or have any questions regarding our shredding on Fridays, give us a call at (717) 233-5606 or send us a message online.