Have you ever put considerable thought into why you shred your mail? If you’re like most Americans, you probably receive a lot of mail. In fact, the average person gets around 121 pieces of mail per month! While it may be tempting to just toss all that mail in the trash, that’s not a good idea. Your personal information – including your Social Security number and date of birth – could be compromised if you do that. A better solution is to shred your mail in a paper shredder. Here are 8 reasons why you should shred your mail:
1. Keep Your Personal Information Safe
As we mentioned, your personal information could be compromised if you don’t shred your mail. Identity thieves and other criminals could fish through your trash to find this information and use it to commit fraud or steal your identity.
2. Prevent “Dumpster Diving”
Dumpster diving is when someone rummages through your trash looking for anything of value – including personal information like credit card statements or bills that they can use to commit identity theft. When you shred your mail, it will make it much harder for someone to go through your trash and find any valuable information. If you don’t shred your mail and someone goes through your trash, they could find out all sorts of things about you – like where you live, how much money you make, and what kind of credit cards you have.
3. Destroy Sensitive Documents
There may be times when you need to get rid of sensitive documents that contain personal information, like tax returns or medical records. These documents could be used by identity thieves to commit fraud, so it’s important to destroy them properly. Shredding them is the best way to make sure they can’t be put to nefarious use.
4. Protect Yourself from Fraud
Identity theft is a serious problem, and it can happen to anyone. If you’re not careful with your personal information, an identity thief could open new accounts in your name, run up debt, and ruin your credit score. When you shred your mail, it is one way to help protect yourself from fraud.
5. Save Yourself Some Space
If you’re like most people, your home is full of papers that you don’t need. Shredding old bills, statements, and other documents can free up some much-needed space in your home.
6. Shredding is Easy and Convenient
Most people think of shredding as a time-consuming task that requires a lot of effort. But with today’s technology, shredding can be easy and convenient. There are now plenty of shredders on the market that can quickly and easily shred your documents, so you don’t have to spend hours doing it yourself the old-fashioned way. Not to mention, shredders with cross action versus using scissors or tearing the mail make it nearly impossible to reassemble shredded documents.
7. Shredding is Affordable
Another common misconception about shredding is that it’s expensive. The truth is, shredders are very affordable, and the cost of shredding services has come down in recent years. In fact, many office supply stores now offer free shredding services for customers who purchase a certain amount of paper products. So there’s really no excuse not to shred your documents.
8. Shredding Helps You Comply with the Law
Finally, shredding is important because it helps you comply with the law. In many states, it’s now illegal to simply throw away documents that contain personal information like your Social Security number or credit card number. If you don’t shred these documents, you could be fined.
So if you’re still not convinced that shredding is important, consider these eight reasons why you should make it a priority. For those that don’t shred their mail and other personal items, it might seem like a hassle, but it’s really just a simple way to protect yourself, your family, and your business. Don’t wait until it’s too late – start shredding today!
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