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Information that should never be shredded
Even if you have a paperless lifestyle, you might still receive important mail related to your finances. This could be anything from old tax returns and medical bills to explanations of your insurance benefits. Fortunately, there are ways to know what should be shredded and when to do so.
There are some pieces of information that you should never shred, such as your birth certificate or Social Security card. Those documents can be very useful to identity thieves. Likewise, if you have a new credit or debit card, it’s probably safe to keep this old one. It might have the same security code as your new one.
It can be confusing to figure out what documents should be kept and what should be shredded. The important thing to remember is to think about whether the information in these documents is sensitive. This information includes credit card numbers, account numbers, and balances. You should shred them if you are not sure of their security.
If you don’t want to worry about identity theft, shred old financial documents after you’ve reviewed them thoroughly. This way, you can be sure that your information is safe. Identity thieves need a minimum amount of information to steal your identity. This can include a credit card statement, a lost or stolen ID, or even a discarded job application. However, many criminals still steal mail and sensitive documents. The good news is that shredding these documents makes sure that these sensitive documents cannot be accessed by identity thieves.
Although the old wives’ tale says that you should keep all your financial documents for at least seven years, it’s actually a good idea to shred some documents sooner. It’s also important to consider the tax implications of shredding old financial documents. For instance, you should not keep credit card offers after seven years, as these could be used by fraudsters to open accounts. You should also shred receipts after utility and credit card payments. While warranty receipts are a good idea to keep, other receipts should be shredded as soon as possible.
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