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5 Things To Do Before Tossing Personal Documents

Tossing Personal Documents

Published on June 16th, 2022

When you are faced with incoming mail that continues to accumulate because you are losing track of which letters and envelopes to keep and which ones need to be recycled (so you save them all), it is time to find an answer to the clutter.

Before getting rid of your mail or documents, make sure that you aren’t just flinging pieces of paper into your recycling bin that have personal information such as your name and address, as well as account numbers.

Ripping them up is not enough to protect your personal data that has been printed on paper.

First off, separate the documents that should be properly shredded and disposed of as soon as possible: ATM receipts, canceled and voided checks (that aren’t needed for tax filing), cell phone bills, communications from the IRS or the DMV after they have been settled, credit card, expired warranty coverage, insurance, and bank account solicitations, internet bills, online purchase orders, packing slips, sales receipts (if they aren’t needed for tax purposes), travel-related materials (not your passport), and utility bills.

The obvious suggestions are to use a shredding machine to dispose of the inked details on your important papers, which is a great idea, by the way, or shredding by hand to ensure that the most sensitive parts of the documents are torn into multiple pieces that are then disposed of in various trash or recycle bins to decrease the chance that they have put back together by someone.

But aside from those things, here are five other things to do before tossing out personal documents that may not have come to mind that you can use right away.

1. ID Police: Identity Protection Roller

Sure, you could shred papers with that old paper shredder and waste time and make a huge mess with paper shreds everywhere. But with ID Police, you’ll conceal your identity with just one rollover of your info! There’s no mess!

ID Police use a special, unique pattern that prevents prying eyes from reading your information. You won’t see what’s printed beneath, nor will you see any printing when the paper is held at different angles of light. It’s self-inking, so you’ll never have to worry about refilling your stamp pad with special ink.

ID Police Reviews have raved about the ways that it has helped its customers offer a portable product that makes it possible to cover up shopping or gas receipts for added protection from personal information theft before you even throw them away in the garbage.

2. Soak Documents In Water

Before disposing of your confidential documents, soak them in water to the point that they are unreadable, which could take at least 24 hours in a bucket of water.

Then after they have all been soaked, mix up the paper-water solution to break up the paper, then drain the water and dispose of the remaining paper pulp.

3. Multi-Cut Scissors

One simple and inexpensive way to shred your personal papers if you don’t have access to a shredding machine is to mimic one with a pair of multi-cut scissors that make multiple cuts all at the same time.

Being that multi-cut scissors don’t provide as much security as a cross-cut shredder, it would be wise to use this as the first step that is followed up with another one of our suggested methods.

4. Burn Documents

If you have access and legal ability to use a fire pit where you live, a simple solution for getting rid of sensitive documents without a shredder is to burn them into ashes.

But prior to burning these documents, first, tear them into miniature pieces and then place small amounts of the ripped paper into the fire a little at a time to avoid having large pieces flying away.

Then once the fire has been put out, make sure that you break up the ashes really well to prevent the chance of any readable pieces of paper remaining in the fire pit after ward.

5. Add Documents To Your Compost

An eco-friendly approach to getting rid of documents without a shredder is to compost them right along with your coffee, filters, and food because the paper will break down in your compost pile and offer carbon to aid in the balance of carbon-to-nitrogen.

As is the case with all disposable methods for getting rid of personal documents; it is very important that you take the time to really break the paper down into tiny fine little pieces before throwing it away, or in this case, before putting it in your compost.

Doing too much paper all at once for compost purchases can disrupt the balance of carbon and nitrogen.

Also, be sure to avoid composting paper that may contain large levels of toxic chemicals, such as glossy paper.

Remember, using these methods to shred and dispose of your personal documents creates a convenient way to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to access your private information.