Don’t Share It, Shred It!

Click. Grrrrrrzzzzzgrindgrindgrindwhizzzzz. Yeeaaaaah! Repeat.

“Chompers”, the mini paper shredder gets fed about once a week at my house. He feasts on receipts, junk mail, old documents or any notes I can find taking refuge on my desk or in my purse. “Chompers” shreds paper into diamonds and, after all, diamonds are a girls’ best friend, especially when it comes to document shredding.

You bet I enjoy the process of shredding, especially the sound my little shredder makes. But part of me thinks it is crazy that protecting our identity by shredding personal information has become a norm in many homes and businesses. Please tell me that you, too, can’t fathom the idea of a person rummaging through the trash in search of a snippet of information to steal from someone!

What do we need to shred or destroy? A good way to answer that question is to breakdown the information into three categories of sensitivity: high, medium, low.

High: documents containing your social security, account or credit card numbers, passwords, PIN (personal identification number), medical/health insurance forms and records, prescription labels and paperwork.

Medium: information containing your date of birth, mother’s maiden name, email address

Low: items containing your full (legal) name, address, phone number

Items to consider shredding:

Address labels from junk mail and magazines

ATM receipts

Account statements

Birth certificate copies

Canceled and voided checks

Credit and charge card bills, carbon copies, summaries and receipts

Credit reports and histories

Documents relating to investments or loans

Documents containing passwords or PIN numbers

Driver’s licenses or items with a driver’s license number

Employee pay stubs

Employment records

Envelopes with return addresses of friends and family

Expired insurance and membership cards

Expired passports and visas

Legal documents

Investment, stock and property transactions

Items with a signature (leases, contracts, letters)

Luggage tags

Medical and dental records

Photo copies of identification cards (college IDs, state IDs, employee ID badges, military IDs)

Pre-approved credit card applications


Report cards


Tax forms


Travel itineraries

Used airline tickets

Utility bills (telephone, gas, electric, water, cable TV, Internet)

Now you have a list to reference and help determine what you should shred – and it is just in time for Unison’s Shred Fest!  Our fall Shred Fest will be Saturday, October 13th from 9:00am to Noon at the Kaukauna South location. Twice a year, May and October, we partner with Cintas mobile document shredding services, to offer you the ideal opportunity to safely and securely dispose of sensitive information.  Over 6,000 lbs. of paperwork was shredded at our spring Shred Fest! Load up a box (or boxes—a 10 box maximum) of shred-worthy documents, toss it in the car (please don’t hurt yourself doing that), drive it over to Shred Fest, grab a sweet treat while you’re waiting, let the Cintas people unload the goods, then drive away happy!

Taking simple steps to properly dispose of the items on the list will go a long way toward securing your personal information and identity.

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