Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Shred It or Save It?

Destroying paper documents is no longer a matter of efficient trash removal; instead it’s become a vital security strategy for shielding against identity theft in this era of data breaches and fraud.

But reducing all of your old files into confetti without examination isn’t the best practice. While certain documents can be shredded immediately (think: credit card and utility bills), others have more extended retention dates – bank statements, for example, should be kept for one year unless needed for tax filing, while you should hold onto tax records for seven years. Receipts for large purchases and service contracts should often be kept until you sell or discard the item.

Which raises another riddle: How do you keep track of what to shred and what to save?

Thankfully, this handy infographic from the Federal Trade Commission provides a color-coordinated list that simplifies the issue. Printed in a size that can be conveniently taped to your shredder, it lists what can be destroyed immediately; what should be saved for a year; what you can shred after seven years; which documents can be left to your discretion; and which should be locked in a safe place and preserved throughout your life. Click on the picture below to download!




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