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What Types Of Financial Documents Need To Be Shredded?

March 09, 2015


Have you ever wondered about what happens to the no longer needed financial documents? And did you know that there are Federal Privacy Laws that call for proper disposal of sensitive and private commercial and personal financial records? Whether it is in a personal home office or corporate office, taking all the necessary precautions to guarantee that all private and hence sensitive financial records are properly disposed of is something of a paramount importance.

A lot of people are not aware of specific records retention policy and which need to be right away shredded. Being proactive about financial records destructive and disposal can hugely benefit you and your business.

Who should tackle financial document shredding?

In all cases of document destruction, it is important to know that the stranger you are handing your most secret information is trustworthy. Find out if a potential shredding service provider performs a background check on its employees before opting for it.  And while at it, also find out if their work is certified and audited. If not, it is advisable to go for another. You can’t really trust this kind of a shredding service provider to keep your secrets safe.

Most businesses produce huge masses of paper in their day to day operations. Most of these do not need to be retained in-house but destroyed as soon they are done away with. It is advisable to hire a specialized document shredding service provider to help destroy and dispose of your businesses’ financial records. This is because these professionals are well educated and knowledgeable on the document destruction processes. Not only this, a reputable document shredding company provides a certificate of destruction to its clients once the job is done. This document act as a proof that the correct steps were taken to properly destroy the confidential financial information it was mandated to obliterate.

To be successful in their mission, reputable shredding service providers first of all consult their clients on what documents or data need to be fully destroyed so as to safeguard private and sensitive information. Reputable document shredding service providers are all ISO 9001 certified vendors, meaning that their employees have undergone extensive training in document destruction and disposal. As a result, they are able to achieve high levels of excellence in customer service and system

What are some of the recommended sensitive financial documents that need to be shredded?

1.    Bank statements: These are probably the best financial documents to get private and confidential information like private account names, addresses, bank account numbers and the likes for identity thieves. Most people leave their paper bank statements in places that are easy to reach or open like office cabinets. It is recommended to try and sign up exclusively for online financial statements so as to prevent dishonest people from stealing information right out of your office cabinets or physical mailbox.

2.    Payroll statements: Most people do not think that there is any information on their paystub that can be used by unscrupulous people such as identity thieves to compromise their personal safety and security.  However, these financial documents have sensitive information such as account numbers, date of birth, signatures, social security numbers, and the likes that any identity thief could easily steal.

3.    Old credit cards: If your financial institution require canceling all your credit cards due to fraudulent activities, it is advisable to properly destroy and then dispose of the old credit cards in your possession. How should this be done? Well, the best way to destroy old credit and debit cards is to cut through the magnetic strip on the back of the card because it holds encoded information. Having done this, it is recommended to shred the card into small pieces that should then be thrown into separate garbage bags for extra safety.

4.    Credit card offers: If you got a stack of unopened credit card offers in your office or home you don’t plan on using, you should cut them into small pieces and then properly dispose them off. Why do this, you may ask yourself. If these cards fall into the wrong hands, then the information provided in them could easily be used by an identity thief to open a credit card account under your name.

Apart from the listed financial records, remember also to properly destroy and dispose of any financial records that include your social security number, passwords, signatures and PIN numbers. This should also include any document that contains sensitive account information. As explained above, it is possible to prevent identity theft by properly shredding documents that contains sensitive and private information that can be compromised.  Note, it is better to be safe than sorry!

Where do shredded financial documents go?

Properly shredded financial documents are recycled to save oil, trees and trees. Simply put, paper shredding is one of the best ways to save the environment as more trees are spared.

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