Shredding is Habit FormingAugust 30, 2009 1:26 pm Houston, Paper Shredding
If identity theft has the ability to radically change your life for the worse, shredding has the ability to preserve your life as you know it. Shredding is important. It’s become like flossing your teeth or exercising every day. We know it’s good for us and it’s the right thing to do, but how many people shred on a regular basis? Some of us do, but not all. The fact remains that we’d all be better off if we flossed and we’d all be better off if we shredded our documents on a regular basis.
The documents we come into contact with on a daily basis contain a great deal of personal information, all of it unique to us. That information needs to be protected. It is our own responsibility to take care of this in a timely and regular way. Document Shredding needs to become a habit. Like anything other habit, we need to build the shredding habit.
First, we have to buy into the idea that shredding is important. Millions of Americans are the victims of identity theft every year. Many of those spend extraordinary amounts of time (and money) unraveling the theft and trying to regain control of their identity. Being careful and cautious about how your personal information is used online is very important in keeping your identity safe. But until we become an absolutely paperless society, document based theft will continue to be a problem. Once a piece of paper with your personal information on it leaves your possession, you have no control over where it goes or what’s done with it. Shredding documents containing personal information is vital to protecting yourself against identity theft. It is very difficult to un-shred a document. Shredding destroys the information contained in the document then and there. You can be assured that the information goes no further.
Once you agree that shredding is very important, decide what sort of shredder you want to be. Are you a daily shredder? Are you a weekly shredder? Are you the sort of procrastinator shredder who makes a pile in the living room of papers to be shredded at a time to be determined later? A good way to remember to shred documents is to set up a shredding time that coincides with paying your bills. If you pay your bills weekly, take a minute or two after each bill paying session and shred the documents you no longer need. File the rest. Do the same if you pay your bills monthly. Make it a habit to shred all receipts at that time as well. Clean out your wallet. Pull the receipts out of your purse. Shred them.
Once you get in the habit of shredding unnecessary documents and filing the rest, you’ll feel less anxious about the whole process.
While you’re at it, make it a habit to check over your credit card statements carefully each month and to run a credit report on yourself at least once a year. And remember to floss.