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Are you dreading the shredding?  Perhaps you have a pile of paper waiting to be shredded – almost always precariously perched on top of your small, quick-to-overheat shredder, am I right? Is it nagging at you?

Here are THREE ideas on how to easily deal with it if you are “dreading the shredding”.

1       JUST DON’T! Ask yourself, WHY you are shredding? Is it because you are afraid that criminals will go through your trash to steal your identity? While that may have happened in the last century, now over 20 years later, the vast majority of identity thefts are through cyber crimes or data breaches. I feel it is much more important to spend your time creating strong passwords than to shred all of your documents. 

2      GET IT WET! A clever student of mine decided to soak all of her “sensitive” documents and toss them in with her kitty liter. She figured that even if someone was to go through her trash, the sodden documents would be very disgusting and difficult to get information from.

3      BLANK IT OUT! Use a handy wide “Identity Theft” ID stamp to blank out financial information, social security, or account numbers. You can keep this stamp on your desk to quickly stamp out sensitive information, and then you can confidently recycle that paper

Finally, I encourage you to make a personal policy about what really MUST be shredded based on your comfort level. I hope these ideas will prevent you from dreading the shredding! What method do you use? Let me know!

PS:  Don’t worry about your receipts! By law, merchant receipts have not been printed with full credit card numbers since Dec 1st, 2006. The chance that your current credit card number is the same now nearly two decades later is slim, so you don’t need to worry about shredding any receipts.