Tossing important paperwork into the trash without shredding it beforehand is a big no-no.
If you want to protect yourself from identity theft, security experts recommend shredding any documents with personal information on them before you dump the unnecessary paperwork into the garbage can.
Staples wants to help you get rid of any unwanted paperwork with its coupon offer (in-store coupon code: 11152) for free shredding services on up to 2 pounds of paper. The coupon is good through March 18.
Not sure what types of paperwork are OK to shred? We can help.
According to Marilyn Lewis in “13 Smart Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances,” here’s what you should shred before tossing:
- Tax documents and receipts: Although it’s recommended that you keep copies of your tax returns forever, “keep records supporting deductions for six years after the return was due or filed,” writes Lewis.
- Banking documents: If you still have unused checks and registers from old bank accounts, Lewis recommends shredding those and discarding them.
In general, it’s a good idea to shred unwanted or old paperwork that includes any birthdates, account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, and signatures or personal identification numbers.
Get more tips in “7 Foolproof Organizing Tricks to Tame Your Paperwork.”
Do you shred your documents before tossing them? Sound off below or on Facebook.
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