What to Shred & How To Stay Safe!


It’s National Consumer Protection Week (March 6-12), so in hopes of keeping you and our kstate CREDIT UNION family safe, we’re sharing tips about how to protect your information and what to do with sensitive documents.

First, it’s important to know what items are necessary to keep and hold on to for safekeeping. Those items are birth certificates or adoption papers, social security cards, citizenship papers or passports, marriage or divorce decrees, death certificates of family members, car titles, and home deeds. These items should be stored in a safe, climate-controlled area or online in our Virtual StrongBox for safe and easy access.

Other items like tax documents (receipts, cancelled checks & deductions), W2s, and pay stubs don’t necessarily need to sit on your shelf for several years. Rather, these items are good to keep for roughly seven years or so. A great rule of thumb with tax-related and income items is to keep your tax documents for around seven years and compare your pay stubs to your W2—if they match, the pay stubs can be discarded.

But how do I safely discard these sensitive information documents?

Glad you asked! A great way to protect your information and declutter your documents is to shred these papers. Specifically, you can join us at the annual Shred Event at CiCo Park on March 7th. If you can’t make it to this event, watch our website this fall for another opportunity to shred your documents safely.

Another way to keep your information safe is to mark or cross out your name, address, and other contact information from your mail before tossing it in the trash. You can do this with an ink pen going in a crisscross manner. Amazon also has tools like these stamps to stamp out your info.

Lastly, if you’re unsure about whether or not to discard of your sensitive documents, it’s best to create a digital copy for safekeeping, whether by photograph or scanning. Always opt to shred your documents rather than throwing them away. And if you must throw your documents away, be sure to remove your personal information the best you can.

Stay safe out there, and if you ever run into any trouble, always feel free to come talk to us!

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