Spring Cleaning? Don’t Forget to Shred

Ensure that old media and paper files are properly disposed of by relying on a professional document destruction service this spring.

Spring is finally here, and it’s the perfect time to go through all of your unused and unneeded documents and electronics that can potentially put you at risk for identity theft. A clean office and home can increase productivity by at least five percent, so whether you’re ready to purge your home or your business ahead of the warmer months, ensure that your files are properly disposed of by relying on a professional document destruction service.

Start With Taxes Since Tax Season Is Almost Over

If you have finished filing your taxes for the year, look through any old financial records and determine what you don’t need. Also, sort through any file folders and remove any unnecessary documents.

You should keep every tax return and supporting forms. This includes W-2s, 1099s, expense tracking, mileage logs if you itemize, and other documents.  As for your filed tax records, the IRS suggests that you “keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.”

You should also hang onto bank statements for a period of 3 years if you’ve been audited by the IRS.  Most banks provide online statements that you can download and save to your computer if you prefer to save some space in your home or office.

Hard Drives, Old Media and Mobile Phones

Do you have old hard drives, computers, media, or cell phones taking up space? With a spring cleaning purge, make sure you don’t just throw out this equipment and compromise your identity. The best and most secure method of rendering hard drive information completely unusable is to completely destroy it through hard drive shredding. Hard drive shredding works similarly to how paper documents are destroyed, except it is the hard drive that is being shredded into unusable pieces. Data is impossible to retrieve once it has been pulverized.

If you’ve relied on CDs to store old information to make room on your computer, chances are some of those CDs are outdated and have long surpassed their retention period.  Don’t leave them to collect dust in a storage room and risk someone stealing them. While you can easily break the disks apart using a hammer, the best way to ensure complete destruction is to use a professional shredding service.  

Throwing away cell phones literally means throwing away valuable metals including copper, silver, gold, and palladium. Tossing cell phones in the landfill is not a sustainable action and can be detrimental to the environment. What’s more, information can still be taken from an old device. Shredding prevents the undamaged components from being put in a new phone.

Now is a good time to evaluate what you can do to be more eco-friendly and keep your space clean. Legal Shred can help destroy and recycle old hard drives, and our shredded paper becomes other useful paper products.

This spring, clean more than just what’s on your office floor. Let Legal Shred do the heavy lifting and give you a hand with your paper waste. Contact us today.

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