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Jeruba's avatar

Do you shred documents that contain private information before you dispose of them? Do you even worry about stuff like this?

Asked by Jeruba (52203points) October 23rd, 2020

Old bank statements. Medical records. Prescription data. Paid bills. Copies of applications. Financial reports.

Anything that might contain account numbers, social security numbers, passwords, mother’s maiden name, etc.—information you would not want to expose where someone with adverse intentions might get hold of it.

Do you just drop them in the trash when you’re through with them? Do you take care that they won’t reveal sensitive data if someone goes through your recycle bin? Do you shred, black out, or burn them?

If you keep all such things online and not in hard copy, don’t you ever worry that you’ll lose it all when your computer dies, or the internet goes down—or you lose access?

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17 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

I keep them in a permanent file actually. In tubs. If anything I’ll do a burn every 5 years.

canidmajor's avatar

I shred boatloads of stuff. Every few months I have a shred day. I hate it.

janbb's avatar

I usually cut up or rip documents that I am throwing in the recycling. I don’t have a shredder.

cookieman's avatar

Same answer as the Penguin.

JLeslie's avatar

I shred bank and other financial documents. I just rip up prescriptions and most mail. If I don’t bother shredding, but think the document has an important number on it, I tear it in half or thirds at the number and put it in two separate trash bags. I might throw half in my kitchen trash and half in my office. The office only get’s thrown out once a month, so it is well separated.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

I strive to avoid paper records. Digital copies or plain data are better. I shred paper with account numbers or dollar figures.

nightwolf5's avatar

I shred any papers that’s got my name and address. Though I also know nothing is ever private, I just like to be careful.

Demosthenes's avatar

I usually shred things like that, but sometimes I get lazy and just tear them up. The only close calls I’ve had have been with online security, not paper, but I still try and take precautions.

Dutchess_III's avatar husband threw out boxes of checks, into dumpster, that were tied to a closed account of his. Next thing we knew he bought a Suburban and a damn poodle.
It took him a year to clean the shit up.
I never got to meet the poodle.

YARNLADY's avatar

We shred at least once a week. The kids used to love doing it, but they outgrew it.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I burn through a couple of shredding machines per year. I shred my own sensitive documents. In addition, I shred any piece of paper with a client’s name, address, SSN, or account number. The volume is significant. When the machine’s bag is full, I do take it to a recycling center that accepts shredded paper.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

! shred. Worked in Aerospace for 28 years with security clearance. Brought up in a family where my father had a Top Secret clearance. Wife had a clearance won’t say what level it was !

LuckyGuy's avatar

I burn. In the cooler months, 9–10 months or so, I’ll burn paper trash in my wood burning stove and convert it to BTUs. Twenty pounds of paper releases the same heat as a gallon of heating oil, worth about $2.50 now.
During the summer I burn it in my firepit outside.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ I love him.

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