Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:00 AM 4th May 2024

Why Shredding Your Documents Is More Important Than Ever

Image by Hans from Pixabay
Image by Hans from Pixabay
From phishing emails to malware attacks, it's clear that our digital identities are under constant siege. However, amidst these high-tech threats, it's crucial not to overlook a decidedly low-tech method of fraud that can be just as damaging: paper document theft.

Liam Quirk, CEO of Quirky Digital, who expertly manages both digital and physical security, highlights the enduring risk of "bin diving." Identity thieves frequently scour through discarded trash to find not just old bills and bank statements, but also most recently in postal circulation, voting documents and NHS or GP documents that contain sensitive personal information. The apparent simplicity of this method belies its potential to cause harm.

Why Shred?

Shredding isn't just for secret government documents. It's a necessary step for protecting your personal information from those who could use it to impersonate you or steal your hard-earned money. Here's why:

Prevent Identity Theft: Each piece of paper with your name, address, bank details, or even medical records can be a gold mine for identity thieves. Shredding these documents ensures they can't be pieced back together.

Protect Your Customers: If you're a business owner, protecting customer information is not just ethical but often legally required. Shredding documents protects not only you but also the trust that your customers place in your business.

Environmental Responsibility: Shredded paper is still recyclable. Many shredding companies offer environmentally friendly disposal of shredded documents, turning potential security risks into recycled products.

Tips for Effective Shredding

Regular Schedule: Set a regular schedule for shredding important documents. For personal use, once a month might be sufficient. For a business, this might need to be more frequent.

Know What to Shred: Anything that contains personal details, account numbers, signatures, or other sensitive information should go through the shredder. When in doubt, shred it.

Use a Cross-Cut Shredder: These shredders cut paper diagonally from both corners, making it exceedingly difficult to piece documents back together.

Consider a Shredding Service: For businesses that deal with a significant amount of sensitive paper waste, professional shredding services offer a secure and efficient solution.

Liam Quirk from Quirky Digital says:
"While we continue to guard against the sophistication of online scams, let's not forget the basics of physical document security. Shredding important papers may seem like a step back in time, but it remains one of the most reliable ways to protect your identity from thieves who are more than willing to dig through your trash for a payday."