What Should I Shred?

Identity theft is all too common in today’s society and is among the fastest growing crimes across the United States, affecting people all over the country. Worse yet, some of the most lucrative targets for identity thieves are people who are recently deceased or young children because the theft will take far longer to discover.

Thankfully, Adelante is a local business offering secure shredding services and the expertise to protect families and businesses against this costly crime. The number one way to protect yourself against identity theft is to shred important documents before they are disposed of — either thrown away or recycled. If you have a large number of files or boxes of documents to shred at once, it is often most cost and time effective to take the documents to a professional shredding company for destruction. Adelante offers this service for ongoing customers or through our walk-in service. The paper we shred is recycled.

Whether you are looking over your own documents, or clearing out the home of a loved one as you settle an estate, here are some tips on what to shred:

Definitely Shred (Paper):

  • Accounts payable and receivable
  • Confidential financial information
  • Customer/client lists or records
  • Draft or obsolete contracts
  • Job applications
  • Insurance forms and records
  • Medical/patient records
  • Personnel information
  • ALL paper and materials of a confidential nature
  • Monthly bills
  • Receipts or paperwork with your signature
  • Pay stubs and 401K statements
  • Expired credit cards
  • Pre-approved credit card offers
  • Statements from banks, credit card companies, and investments
  • Tax forms and documents
  • Documents listing a password or PIN
  • Anything with your Social Security number
  • Personal information you wouldn’t want a stranger to see


Good Idea to Shred:

  • All mail from your financial dealings including change of term notices from banks or credit cards
  • Documents from companies you’ve done business with recently, like travel arrangements. (Identity thieves sometimes pretend to be from these companies to trick you into disclosing information.)

*Sources: Consumer Reports and the National Association of Information Destruction