How & Why You Should Properly Dispose of Mail, Credit Cards, and Other Sensitive Documents

Take a look in your wallet, purse, or handbag. You’ll probably find a collection of receipts and other pieces of paper from your various shopping trips. In the first instance, you keep these to help if there is any issue with your purchase. However, these receipts often have credit card information on them, meaning you can’t just drop them on the street or in your bin.

It’s not just in your wallet. Despite aiming to be a paper-free society, you will have an assortment of mail that arrives at your house along with items you print from the web.

Unfortunately, all of these pieces of paper, whether a credit card offer or a bank statement, have your personal details on them. That means someone can take the paperwork and use the details to pretend to be you. It’s worth noting that identity theft is on the rise, with over 150,000 Australians experiencing it every year. 

Why You Need To Dispose Of your Documents Properly

The biggest reason to dispose of documents properly is because of identity theft. It costs the industry billions every year. Although you are largely protected as you simply need to inform your bank when you realize your identity has been stolen, it doesn’t mean you won’t be left out of pocket.

As well as a financial loss there is a significant inconvenience. Your credit record is likely to be destroyed and you will find it difficult to secure credit until the identity theft has been resolved. This can take years. It’s a much better idea to dispose of your documents properly and eliminate the possibility of identity theft.

How To Dispose Of Sensitive Documents

There are several ways to dispose of sensitive documents. The most common is to either burn them or shred them. Naturally, burning the documents requires you to have a fire. That can be time-consuming, smoky, and means you’ll need to collect your documents between fires. Don’t forget, that fires are not generally good for the environment.

The better option is to invest in one of the high-quality paper shredders available on the market. Although you will be tempted by the cheapest shredders, the reality is that they are not very good at the job. 

Cheap shredders cut paper vertically into relatively wide bans. It’s possible to stick the paper back together and read the required information.

In contrast, more expensive shredders will shred paper vertically and horizontally. They also cut in very small strips, making it virtually impossible to restore the paperwork after it has been shredded.

It’s worth noting that high-quality shredders will also destroy your out-of-date bank and credit cards for you. This is simpler and safer than cutting them into pieces yourself.

The beauty of shredders is that they are always ready to use, allowing you to instantly shred documents and reduce the risk of identity theft.  Shredders make your personal details more secure, every home should invest in one today.