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Secure Shredding Service Basics – Closing the Door on Identity Theft

Identity Theft is a very real threat, secure shredding goes a long way to combating this rising scourge.

Identity Theft is South Africa is commonplace and it is all too easy for criminals to gain access to your personal details. In fact, it would seem a criminal only needs your ID number to do considerable harm.

A secure shredding service can go a long way to protecting your identity and the identities of those who have entrusted you with their personal information. Whether you are an individual or an organisation, secure shredding of records and documents that contain personally identifiable information is a must.

What Documents and Records Should You Keep?

Your first step to ensuring you protect yourself and others from identity theft is to determine what documents and records you should keep. Some documents should never be destroyed while others should be kept for only a number of years or even less.

Examples of documents that should be kept securely include:

  • Identity books/cards
  • Licenses such as motor vehicle licenses, business licenses, firearms licenses etc.
  • Property related documents such as title deeds and property loans
  • Customer/employee contracts and any document or record in which a client’s or employee’s personal information is disclosed

Original documents of the above should be kept as securely as possible especially if they are to moved around. These documents often need to be accessed too so assessability is a consideration as much as security.

Remember, loss of important documents can put you at risk of identity theft, not to mention the time and expense of getting replacements if indeed it is possible to get replacements.

What Documents Should be Shredded?

Whether you require a commercial or residential secure shredding service, the following documents are generally safe to shred: (As an organisation you should shred in accordance with a regularly updated retention schedule and this should always be consulted prior to shredding and in compliance with your Information Governance Policies.)

  • Documents or scrap papers with personal information (e.g., birthdays, ID numbers, driver’s license numbers)
  • Financial records (e.g., credit card applications, health insurance documents, payslips, bank statements)
  • Redundant copies of ID books/cards, licenses, title deeds, contracts etc.
  • Documents containing account information (e.g., account numbers, passwords, usernames)
  • Junk mail containing bar codes that may be associated with personally identifiable information
  • Old Tax Returns (Generally kept for 5 years. See SARS for more details.)

By utilising a secure shredding service for your residential or business shredding needs you can make it much harder for thieves to get hold of your personal information. The cost and inconvenience of having your identity stolen can be exceedingly high, with many victims stating that the effect continues to remain after years.

Make the right call, secure your records and valuable documents and shred redundant documents to close the door on identity theft.

For more information about Iron Mountain’s commercial and residential secure shredding service offerings, please contact us today.

Image Credit: Pixabat\stux

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