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Is there anything more daunting than feeling as if you have lost an important document or a paper with personal details on has been given over to strangers by accident mixed in between them all, my blood runs cold when this happens?

When we lived in a hot country (name shall remain unknown because this scenario tends to happen a lot there) we applied for an identification document for our daughter, we received the email stating it was ready for collection and went into the city the next day.

We sat in the queue for over an hour because irrelevant if you have a collection slip or not you need to wait in line, nearing the front with only 2 people ahead of us we got our papers in order.

After sitting a few more minutes a gentleman tapped us from behind on the shoulder and proceeded to hand over our completed forms and ID-document with our daughter’s photo on the front. They had been stuck in between his papers and he thankfully saw them while heading out the door and recognized our daughter’s face who was sat with us.

We were gob smacked. This is someone’s life essentially being handed to a different person without so much as a worry that it had happened, simply shrugged off as if it was a usual occurrence. After giving them a mouth full and a piece of our minds we left this government institution where monkeys are, unfortunately, handling important papers.

I have no idea if the gentleman would have had a shredder at his home to get rid of the papers or what he would have done with the documents had he not had his heart of gold, all I’m grateful for is that we were being watched over from above and all ended up well.

 

Why should you shred documents?

People tend to shred their papers for a few reasons, for us, my husband is not ‘paranoid’ as such but more private I guess you could put it down to, I am all about keeping your business to yourself. I have no interest in your finances or your goings-on if you tell me that’s fine, but snooping is not for me (I don’t have the time in any case).

 

5 Reasons to destroy private documents.

  • We all know paperwork can pile up quicker than we anticipate, so getting rid of excess piles makes the space cleaner and as the old saying goes, clear desk clear mind.

You can see a quick comment here https://www.quora.com/What-papers-should-I-shred-and-why on what you are likely to put through the shredder, and then add any extras you feel need being kept private and away from prying eyes.

  • Theft. Less so in terms of physical papers but more about your identity, we hear about it on the news and never think it can happen to us, then the next thing you know your bank statement is showing purchases from a foreign country and you have no clue how it got there. Don’t get your identification stolen, prevention is better than cure.
  • The Law. This is more for companies who have had employees leave, getting rid of their files safely and securely is compulsory and also covers them for insurance purposes.
  • Hazard. When boxes are piled high it is easy to lose track of the space surrounding them, an electrical malfunction, and a small spark is all it takes for a fire to burn through the storage room. Ridding the premises of unnecessary papers can prevent what is potentially a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Eco-friendly. Mother Nature has been kind enough to give us a sustainable and reusable source, shredding the papers makes it not only easier for implementing into other products to be reused such as packaging and padding but the strips can be recycled and made into paper for a second time. Win-win.

Safety is the name of the game.

Whether you are moving house and need to clear out and get rid of the mountains of paperwork stuffed into the back of the garage or your business is relocating premises and you need to dispose of the documents but not sure how to due to sheer volume, hiring a company to take care of it for you may be the best solution.

Now, you may be thinking ‘well I don’t want them snooping through things either,’ then a firm who is compliant with the law in shredding papers is who you need. You want to feel that you are safely and securely leaving no trace behind, so choose a recommended business if possible for secure document destruction and let them take care of the rest.

 

What to look for in a company that disposes of documents.

The main criteria for me would be to ensure that the staff that will be handling your documents have had thorough background checks done, no criminal records, or misdemeanors, and a clear psychiatric test completed.

Don’t fall into the trap of being told that the papers need to be sorted into categories, this is a scam and the easiest way for information to be looked through and passed on. Secure and locked boxes of all shapes and sizes should be readily available for you to put your papers into, and each step in the process clarified who will be handling it until the final shred.

Once everything has been shredded you should receive a Certificate of Destruction, this is for insurance and tax purposes and if one will not be available it will be best to look elsewhere. Read an interesting article in this link for an in-depth look into how and what goes on with this processing, the more you know the better equipped you’ll be to notice if something is off.

The main objective is that you have taken action to do things the right way, not simply dumping a bag full of personal items in a dumpster for the world to see.

This is a collaborative post. 

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