Shredding papers is a lot like flossing teeth. Everyone knows it’s a smart thing to do; Many people claim they do it regularly; But few people make it a daily habit.
Don’t worry, we don’t judge.
But shredding documents containing personal information doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, you don’t even need to buy a shredder (although I recommend you do).
Several security corporations, shredding companies and government agencies host periodic shredding events. (I like to call them shredding parties.)
Take for instance the bi-annual Shred Day in Texas hosted by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB hosts several events around the country, and multiple events within Texas.
This year’s Killeen event boasted 14,000 pounds of paper shredded, 9,000 pounds of electronic waste taken, 600 pounds of cardboard broken down and 65 hard drives crushed. And that’s just in a city of 127,000.
Although shredding on a daily basis is a much smarter option (and so is flossing your teeth regularly), it’s not always convenient.
So if you aren’t a daily shredder—or even if you are—we recommend taking advantage of one of these events. Here's why:
1. Shredding documents containing private information can help keep that information out of the hands of identity thieves.
2. Many shredding events also dispose of your private information in a sustainable and eco-friendly way (for example, Shred-It). It’s green and secure!
3. Scattered piles of papers, and drawers full of old computer hardware make you look like a hoarder. Take the opportunity to clean house!
If you’re interested in finding an event, first check with your local BBB to see if there is an event in your city. But even if there is not, there are several other options.
Many large corporations like Cintas, or many shredding-specific companies like Shred-It, host events around the nation. You may even be able to find an event at a bank, credit union, security company or recycling organization. And if you can’t find a shred event, why not host one?
Just get in touch with a local shredding company and make it happen. I’ll dub you an ‘official privacy advocate’, which is pretty prestigious if you ask me.