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What Goes in the Shred Pile

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What should you shred?

In short, destroy all sensitive information including junk mail and paperwork that includes:
  • Account numbers
  • Birth dates
  • Passwords and PINs
  • Signatures
  • Social Security numbers
To protect your privacy, you should also consider shredding items that include:
  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • E-mail addresses
Below is a list of specific items to consider shredding for your safety and privacy:
  • Address labels from junk mail and magazines
  • ATM receipts
  • Bank statements
  • Birth certificate copies
  • Canceled and voided checks
  • Credit and charge card bills, carbon copies, summaries and receipts
  • Credit reports and histories
  • Employee pay stubs
  • Employment records
  • Expired credit and identification cards including driver's licenses, college IDs, military IDs, employee badges, medical insurance cards, etc. (If your shredder can't handle plastic, cut up cards with a scissors before discarding them.)
  • Expired passports and visas
  • Legal documents
  • Insurance documents
  • Investment, stock and property transactions
  • Luggage tags
  • Medical and dental records
  • Papers with a Social Security number
  • Pre-approved credit card applications
  • Receipts with checking account numbers
  • Report cards
  • Resumes or curriculum vitae
  • Signatures (such as those found on leases, contracts, letters)
  • Tax forms
  • Transcripts
  • Travel itineraries
  • Used airline tickets
  • Utility bills (telephone, gas, electric, water, cable TV, Internet)
Source:  Washington State Attorney General
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