Guys, we all know how critical personal documents are and we all want to keep them safe. However, it’s not practically possible for everyone to keep all the paper documents stored forever. Some documents are useful for only a certain period and later they aren’t required anymore. We need to know how to dispose of personal documents in such cases.
Today we’ll discuss how to get rid of sensitive documents and the disposal of documents procedure. In various countries, there exists a disposal of confidential documents policy. However, the same is not available everywhere. In such cases, everyone should know how to dispose of sensitive documents at home or where can you shred personal documents for free.
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Top 6 Ways to Dispose of Personal Documents Safely
We will now discuss the top 6 ways to dispose of personal documents. You can use these multiple ways to keep your personal information safe.
Shredding Documents by Hand
This is one of the quickest yet labor-intensive ways of disposing of sensitive personal documents at home. You can simply tear the documents with the help of your hands or scissors. You may also use a pen or pencil to cut off all the important details before shredding the papers.
Once the shredding is done, you should consider disposing of the shredded pieces of documents in different trash bins so that papers can’t be rearranged. I have personally used this technique to dispose of my old bank statements and credit card bills.
Confidential Waste Disposal
Waste disposal is found everywhere however, confidential waste disposals are being set up by state governments in various cities. Here you can dispose of your confidential documents which are not required anymore without any challenges.
You can look out for such disposal areas by searching “free paper shredding events near me”. This can also be considered one of the hassle-free and quick options for disposing of personal documents.
Burning the Documents
This might not be the most eco-friendly option however this seems to be one of the easiest ones. If allowed in your locality, you can just put up a fire and burn all the sensitive personal documents in a bonfire.
Consider shredding your documents with your hands prior to feeding them in the fire and beating the ashes as well once the documents are burnt. This is how to get rid of confidential papers without a shredder. Easy and reliable.
Soaking the Documents in Water
This method might take some time however it will make the job worth waiting for. You can simply soak all the documents in water for 24-48 hours and then mix them well. This will make the ink on the documents disappear and mixing the documents will tear them apart making them unreadable.
You can also mix some color in the water while mixing the paper. That’s how to make the paper unreadable. Surely worth a try.
Using Paper for Compost
You can also use the waste paper to make compost. Compost piles consist of various food waste, soil, and other filters. The paper will break down just fine in the compost piles making it an eco-friendlier approach to disposing of sensitive documents at home.
Always make sure that the paper is shredded before adding it to the compost pile, making it easier to break down. Also, avoid adding glossy or design papers as they contain a lot of chemicals.
Wait for a Local Shred Day
Even though you may opt for paid shredding service however the ideal choice would be to wait for a local shred day. These events are organized all over the world where people come and shred all their sensitive personal documents using public shredders.
These events are where you can shred papers for free. Local shred events are also beneficial coz a large number of people are aware of this disposal of documents procedure. All the documents are shredded and mixed well which results in making the paper unreadable. This option is quite reliable for people who can store their documents for a long time and wait for such events.
Above are a few ways, how to dispose of personal documents. You can always opt for paid services as well however if you can wait for the right time, you can get other good opportunities as well free of cost. This clearly explains how to dispose of sensitive documents at home or outside as per the requirement.
Why You Should Dispose of Personal Documents?
Despite the fact that we are living in the digital era, there are still few things that are reliable on paper documents. We just can’t do without paper documents in most cases. However, its also to be noted that most sensitive personal documents are only required for a very limited period of time.
After that period is over, those documents become useless yet they carry a lot of our personal details which can result in entity theft. This is when it gets more important to know why you should dispose of your documents safely. We will discuss below why you should dispose of your documents.
As per a few recent articles posted over the internet, more than 10 million people are affected due to identity theft every year. This roughly costs approximately 50 billion USD to such people.
Quite easy to understand why identity theft needs to be taken seriously. If you don’t want to become a part of such statistics, you should know how to dispose of personal documents safely. Always know that your personal documents are nothing else but your personal identity. If you don’t take care of them you are boomed. Also, in case the documents are not required always go and dispose of them safely to avoid any identity theft issues.
Major Documents You Should Consider For Shredding Regularly
Below is a list of a few important documents which you should consider disposing of on a regular basis.
Old Tax Returns
Tax returns are required to be kept for 3 years normally in case they are required for audit purposes. After that, they can be disposed of. The tax information is quite confidential hence you should always consider disposing of these papers once they aren’t required anymore.
Canceled or Void cheque
A canceled cheque may not be used for withdrawing money however it contains other important details such as user name, bank account details, and signature. Always consider disposing of them as well.
Bank statements are nothing but a reflection of your financial management. It also contains your bank details and transaction details. Not sure if anything else is required to be explained as to why you need to learn how to dispose of sensitive documents at home.
Old Photo ID
Photo IDs are also one of the most important identification documents for every individual. Also, in today’s digital world, they are also interlinked to other documents and bank accounts. All this makes your photo IDs safe so that no one can perform any identity scam on you.
So, these were a few of the reasons why you should dispose of your documents. Always know that keeping only what is required and disposing of what is not required will create a perfect balance for you. Personal documents, as well as your identity, will be safe if you follow these tips.
Benefits of Disposing of Personal Documents
We have already explained and many of us already understand the obvious benefits of disposing of personal documents. This includes protection of personal information, prevention of identity theft, etc. However, there are other important benefits of disposing of personal documents which are explained below
To Avoid Legal Penalties
Businesses are bound to keep the personal identity of their employees and business associates safe from third parties. If not done properly, this could invite various penalties upon the businesses. In order to avoid all such penalties, businesses should be aware of how to dispose of sensitive documents.
To Save Space and Cost
We can’t deny that storing paper documents can take up a lot of space. Also, businesses that are using a lot of hard copies had to acquire rental warehouses to store their paper documents. This results in a huge amount of money being spent.
Instead of doing the same, businesses can opt for a digital approach to avoid the dependency of work on hard copies in the future. Also, they should work on ideas as to how to dispose of personal documents and store the required ones in soft copies format.
To Reduce Carbon Footprint
On average, a single individual uses almost 100 pages every month. That’s a lot of trees and waste. A better approach is to rely on soft copies and digital technology as much as we can to avoid the usage of so many papers.
Since we can’t do much about already used papers, we should focus on using them for making compost or recycle the same for reusing in the form of tissue papers, paper towels, handmade colorful papers, etc. By using all such approaches, we can definitely go for an eco-friendlier approach.
Also, Read – Free Paper Shredding Events In Maryland
Conclusion – Dispose Of Personal Documents
Dispose of personal documents is a mandatory process. It can be said that personal documents are nothing but a mixed bag of an individual’s personal identity. It can tell a lot about individuals or a business. Every individual should know how to dispose of personal documents safely at home as well as outside.
This way we can keep our identities safe from others. Also, an eco-friendlier approach can be adopted depending on the needs and requirements of the situation. Hope we made you understand the benefits properly. If you still have any queries, feel free to write back to us and we will get back to you at the earliest.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you Destroy Personal Documents?
We have already mentioned some easy and reliable methods for you to get rid of confidential papers. You can dispose of sensitive documents at home through shredding by hand, burning, etc. Also, you can opt for free shredding events as well as free confidential waste disposals.
Can I throw away Old Documents?
Throwing away personal documents will never be a good idea. There are always chances of identity theft if your documents reach the hands of scammers. Instead, you must always consider disposing of sensitive personal documents either at home or through shredding events.
Why is Shredding not a Good Idea?
Even though shredding helps you get rid of sensitive personal documents however if not done properly, it could lead to identity theft. Always consider shredding your documents properly and consider throwing the remains in different dustbins or even better burning them.
Should You Own a Paper Shredder?
If you are a professional or business who works with a lot of hard copy documents, you can think about buying a paper shredder to destroy sensitive personal documents independently. However, if you just need to destroy personal documents once in a while, consider destroying sensitive personal documents at home using manual techniques. You can also dispose of confidential documents in defined disposal plants as well.