Which Documents Should Be Professionally Shredded


Gainesville, VA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/18/2012 -- Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world today. It affects 15 million people and nearly 50 billion dollars are stolen in assets and credit every year. As unbelievable as this number seems, what is even more mind-boggling is that much of the information that a professional identity thief gathers comes from the garbage can in front of your house and behind local businesses all over your town.

It was in 1988 that the Supreme Court ruled that trash was no longer protected under privacy acts. The conclusion was that if a person threw something in the trash, they could no longer expect that information to be private since it was going, unprotected, into the public realm. This raised all sorts of warning alarms for privacy advocates and soon a trail of concern lead from private trash cans to the waste disposal services of big businesses across the world.

With the realization that “trash” now had value, it was important to understand what types of trash needed to be protected and disposed of through document shredding and what trash could just be tossed whole into the can. In general, it was agreed that any document that had a signature, account number, social security number, or medical or legal information should be shredded. Specifically, these documents fall into four different categories.

Business Files and Records
Any business that takes personal information from customers and clients needs to file business records of all kinds securely, and dispose of these documents using a shredder. Insurance companies, banks, hospitals, and government institutions especially have to maintain a high level of vigilance to ensure private information is kept private. Examples of these types of documents include: Account Records, Bank Statements, Bids, Medical Records, Obsolete Contracts, and Payroll Records.

Client Data
Client data refers to information that is collected on an ongoing basis, not through an initial application or through a contract. This type of data is especially damaging if let out into the public because it shows personal habits and patterns to our purchasing habits, etc. Examples of these types of documents include: cancelled checks, correspondence (printed emails or other), photographs, receipts, and invoices.

Personal Information
Personal information refers to data that points specifically to an individual versus an individual’s assets. This type of information is often gathered by companies like hospitals and government institutions. Examples of these types of documents include: addresses, résumés, social security numbers, and used airline tickets.

Non-Document Items
Last on the list are non-document items. These are items not necessarily made of paper – and yes, a professional document shredding company can dispose of these items for you along with all your paper products. Examples of these items include: CD-ROMS, DVD’s, Cassette Tapes, Prototypes, and ID Badges.

These are just a few of the items that businesses need to dispose of properly to protect the privacy of their clients. To learn more about our professional shredding services contact TrueShred. TrueShred is locally owned and operated by experienced security industry professionals. As a secure shredding company, our personnel are uniformed, bonded, licensed, insured, and subject to background screening, as well as, random drug testing.

About TrueShred
TrueShred is a NAID AAA Certified, on-site document destruction company headquartered in Gainesville, VA, which also deals for Arlington shredding services. As a family-owned and operated business. For more information please call (888)750-8783 or visit us on the web at