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The Secret to Worry-Free Holidays: Document Destruction

pile of christmas cards

It’s a time of year that’s easy to love. Bright lights, cheery songs, and parties with friends naturally help brighten the mood. From finding the perfect gift to our best creative wrapping strategies, there’s a lot of fun to be found.

However, an increase in shopping also means increasing rates of fraud. 2019 already shows a 29% increase in retail fraud compared to 2018, and fraud isn’t limited to online interactions. Purchases of any kind create a massive paper trail of receipts and credit card statements. Even Christmas cards aren’t completely safe – personal addresses, pet names, and handwritten signatures often accompany the warm wishes for the season, and these are highly desirable for identity thieves.

What Does Document Destruction Have to Do with Holidays?

Your control over any personal information in your trash effectively ceases to exist the second you put it out for public trash collection. This means that, in most states, it’s perfectly legal for someone to search through your garbage, provided it’s on public property (such as a street curb for collection).

Cards with the addresses and names of those most dear to you, receipts and delivery statements from all the gifts you ordered – all of these can fall into the hands of someone intent on misusing them. With little more than your name and address, thieves can scam their way into getting the rest of your information.

It’s true that document destruction isn’t naturally associated with the holiday season, but it really should be. It’s an essential step towards making sure that your new year doesn’t begin with charges you didn’t make or, worse, the discovery that your bank account has been cleared out.

The way document destruction works is by guaranteeing that the information on these printed items can’t be recovered. The shredding company will crosscut your documents into tiny pieces (about the size of very fine confetti). Instead of putting those pieces back into the public trash system, the shredding company will securely remove them to a trusted, local recycling center to ensure that all traces of the physical documents – and your personal information – are gone for good.

How to Prepare During the Holidays

While the holidays are going on, and you’re juggling a variety of guests, gift arrangements, and party planning, all you need to focus on is collecting the items you’ll need to have destroyed. This can be as simple as taking a cardboard box from a recent delivery and dropping papers with sensitive information into it.

What do you need to withhold for document destruction? The short answer is anything with personally identifiable information on it. This can include:

  • Billing Statements
  • Credit Card Receipts
  • Order Invoices
  • Prescription Documents
  • Greeting Cards & Envelopes

Of course, it’s perfectly all right to hold onto things for sentimental reasons. But when you’re ready to throw them out, make sure they go into the pile you’re setting aside for professional document destruction.

Arranging a Post-Holiday Purge

When the new year arrives and the seasonal craziness slows down, it’s time to do something with all those papers you’ve set aside. You’ll want to call a certified, professional shredding company. All you need to do is let them know what you want to shred, and where/when you’d like them to arrive. That’s it!

When your shredding day arrives, all you need to do is direct the shredding technician to your collection of papers. They’ll personally load it into the shredding truck, and you’ll be able to watch as the papers are destroyed right before your eyes, usually in only a few minutes. When the process is complete, the technician will give you a Certificate of Destruction, which is a document verifying that your items were destroyed according to state and federal regulations (this is especially useful for those who work from home or have a home-based business).

The technician will then directly deliver your document shreds to a secure recycling plant for processing, which means you can tackle the new year with complete peace of mind as to the state and security of your discarded information.

Where to Find More Information on Document Destruction

The safety and security of your personal information should never be taken lightly, which is why it’s important to find a trustworthy company to handle your document destruction. Chesapeake Paper Systems is a NAID-certified, locally owned business with a track record of excellent service. We’re proud to provide a variety of services to our community, including one-time purge shredding, residential shredding service, and a hard drive destruction plan.

For more information on our on-site paper shredding service for both businesses and residential customers, call us at (844) 400-2437 or get in touch online.