How To Keep Documents Safe At Home

Posted by Ray Barry

Certain documents must be kept as paper copies and as digital copies. However, keeping important paper documents in your home could lead to identity theft, or something could happen to them, even if you keep them in what you think is a safe place. They could be stolen if someone breaks in, they could go up in flames if you have a fire, or if your home gets flooded, they could be ruined in a flood. A tornado could spread your important documents all over the county.

Documents to Keep

Your important documents should be secure from anything that might happen to them. And, when you update the documents and no longer need your current copy, be sure to have them shredded by Carolina Shred. These documents may include:

  • Tax returns

  • Wills

  • Trusts

  • Living wills

  • Titles

  • Deeds

  • Powers of attorney

  • Social security cards and birth certificates

  • Banking items

  • Bonds

  • Marriage and divorce records

  • Other important certificates

How and Where to Secure Documents

When you first receive an important document, scan it into a secure, password-protected folder on your hard drive. You may also password-protect the file itself if you use the professional version of Adobe or other scanning software. Place the documents in a plastic bag with a zipper seal. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag before you seal it. This will keep your documents dry if your home should flood or if it gets drenched with a fire hose before it could burn.

Safe Deposit Boxes

While your best option is to keep your documents in a safe deposit box, some people prefer to keep documents in the home where they are easier to obtain. If you prefer to keep them at home, put the original in the safe deposit box and keep a copy in your home.

Home Safes

Keep the copies – or the originals, if you prefer not to use a safe deposit box – in a home safe. The home safe should be fire proof, and it should have a lock that is difficult to crack. The harder a lock is to crack, the more expensive the safe. However, if you are keeping important documents in your home, you should invest in a good safe.

Old Documents

When it's time to dispose of old documents, you'll want to do something other than just throw them out. It's too easy for someone to dig through the trash to look for anything with your personal information on it. Instead, keep the older documents in a box at the bottom of your safe. As the box fills, or if you see a Carolina Shred truck in your neighborhood, have us shred your documents for you. Our cross-cut shredders ensure that your documents cannot be put back together again.

Documents and items you should shred include credit card offers, receipts, expired credit cards, bank statements, outdated wills, trusts and estate documents, copies of mortgages you no longer hold, copies of deeds and titles for items you no longer own, credit card invoices, retirement account statements, hard drives, portable storage media and any other documents with personal information and account numbers.

Contact Carolina Shred

If you a box or huge bag of documents that need to be shredded and haven't seen our trucks in your neighborhood, give us a call to set up an appointment to have your documents and items shredded properly. Or, contact us on our website for quick service. And, don't forget, we also shred digital media such as hard drives, USB drives and other portable storage items.