The rise of the internet and the numerous devices that can access it has led to a big concern about the security of the information that is stored and traded on it. A 2018 study found that up to half of internet users did not do certain activities because of the privacy and security concerns. There certainly is legitimate concern, but people forget that there are still vast amounts of information produced and stored in paper form, and there are the same concerns about the security of those documents. The good news is, unlike most online information, which often can be retrieved by technology experts after it is “destroyed,” paper records that are shredded or destroyed in some other way are gone forever.

To protect your identity, it’s important to shred important papers such as bills and any documents that have personal information on them. About 30% of people say they do not shred sensitive documents before they throw them out, which could be a contributing factor to the large numbers of identity theft every year. In 2017, there were about 16.7 million cases of identity theft, and those numbers continue to increase. There are a number of different shredders you can get, with them differing based on how much destruction they cause. For example, Level 6 shredders will turn your papers into confetti, whereas a Level 1 shredder might only cut papers into thin strips.

If you own your own business, it’s very important to shred documents, especially those that have any customer personal and financial information. Commercial paper shredders are pretty much a necessity to make sure you thoroughly destroy documents to prevent the chance of identity theft. It’s a good idea to go all out and use high security shredders such as Level 6 shredders to make sure important papers are left in a state that makes it impossible for a thief to gain any information from them. If you don’t want to make this investment and deal with the hassle, you can hire companies to do secure paper shredding for you.

Taking document security seriously, whether it is for your own personal documents or for those you are responsible for as a business owner is very important. It not only will help protect you against identity theft, if you are a business owner, it could help you avoid costly litigation.

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