Ways to Discard Documents
There are many ways to
discard documents properly. Discarding documents and objects which contain
personal information is even more important when they contain personal or
business confidential information.
Depending on where we
live, we receive paper or snail mails in our mailbox on a daily basis. In some
countries, the amount of mail placed in the mailbox is amazing. Most of the
mails are marketing and unsolicited yet they sometimes include our name and address
as if the advertiser has purchased a list which includes our information for targeted marketing purposes. Other
mails may relate to our existing accounts and be legitimate however, all mails
must be picked up from the mailbox on time and discarded properly. As mentioned, even
unsolicited mails may contain at least a name and address which can provide some
information about the homeowner.
Shredding documents is one
of the best ways to discard documents. Many businesses engage professional
shredding companies to come to their facilities and shred discarded documents
which have been temporarily placed in locked bins while awaiting shredding.
However, most of us may not have the volume of the documents which necessitates
the engagement of a professional shredding service. Most households are better off purchasing a
small office shredder to discard paper documents. If your budget does not allow
you to invest in a shredder, read on for some useful tips.
Best Ways to Discard Documents
- Request electronic
communication whenever possible. Most companies allow and prefer the distribution
of account statements and bills electronically because it reduces their costs.
The less paper documents you receive and accumulate, less you have to worry
about and spend energy to discard them.
- Shred everything you don’t
need even if you are unsure whether the documents include personal data. Shred even the envelopes
which contain your name or address.
- Do not recycle paper documents without shredding thinking that they are safe with the other paper trash. Thieves are known to search for valuable information in the trash bins.
- Prescriptions and medication
bottles which contain personal information must also be discarded. Items which
can not be shredded such as medication bottles, can be discarded in other ways
as listed in this section.
- Common documents which
must be periodically or immediately discarded include account statements, bills,
canceled checks, paystubs, and older tax returns.
- If information in the paper
documents can be obtained online such as bank statements, you can discard the
paper documents since you can access old statements online and print them if needed.
- Old CDs and DVDs which
we no longer use can also be shredded. Computer hard drives, SD cards, mobile
phones, SIM cards, and thumb drives can be destroyed by erasing the data, resetting
the device to factory settings, placing the item in a Coke or Pepsi which are
known to even melt the iron over time, or, just using a hammer.
- Small businesses and
homeowners which have a lot of accumulated documents may decide to burn their
documents at once in a safe fire bin.
Lastly, you may place your documents
in a trash daily and pour coffee, tuna juice, left over soups and foods, and
anything else that would make the papers smell, unreadable or hard to retrieve.
This method is perhaps more suitable for less sensitive documents that we
receive daily. In order to increase your privacy, manually tear the paper documents in small pieces before placing them in the trash and pouring leftovers
Read about 3 ways to protect your documents after learning about ways to discard documents.