Monthly Archives: September 2016

YouTube Shredding Channel Makes Good Point About Mail Shredding

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bulk shredding servicesPeople really enjoy watching things be destroyed. As strange as it sounds, an entire YouTube community has been founded just to destroy random objects. While some YouTubers will crush things with industrial hydraulic presses, others choose to shoot or blow things up. One account is dedicated to all things iPhone, and the creator tries to destroy the phones using different methods, including shredding.

Funny enough, one user’s account is devoted to shredding specifically. Thymark, a YouTuber in Germany, has an industrial shredder and will put anything from plastic child’s toys, to lit candles, to vegetables in the shredder.

A couple of Thymark’s videos actually feature the type of material that you would normally put through a paper shredder: mail. However, some of these parcels are not paper. People send actual mail to the YouTuber, where they are shredded live on camera. Viewers have also sent in dog toys, flip flops, and many other things — none recommended for regular office shredding devices.

While Thymark’s shredding escapades are unconventional, they do have a point beyond mindless destruction. Shredding is an excellent, secure way to environmentally destroy documents that you no longer need. Some pieces of mail, for example, are junk, and don’t need to be kept, while some contain sensitive information and must undergo secure document shredding.

For either case, bulk shredding services are the best way to rid your home or place of work from cluttered and unfiled papers.

Mail addressed to places of business often contains personal information related to billing, financial management, employment records, and more. The healthcare industry is probably the largest holder of secure information, and is where 43% of all security breaches occur.

Security breaches and identity or account thefts are very serious crimes with severe consequences. Patient information is confidential and contains not only a person’s health information, but their family history, contact information, insurance and billing information, among other things.

Mail containing a patient’s billing information should be filed away or permanently destroyed. This goes for any healthcare provider, as well as the patient who receives billing information.

Simply throwing away bills that contain account numbers and instructions for payment can result in identity theft, too. Shockingly, almost half of all security breaches are achieved through physical search means, like dumpster diving.

By shredding documents that contain sensitive information through bulk shredding services, companies can avoid the repercussions that come with security breaches.

Green Office, LLC provides secure bulk shredding services that can help you dispose of sensitive mail as well as other documents, and prevent any compromise.

What Should I Shred and When Should I Shred It?

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convenient paper shredding optionsAre your desk drawers filled to the brim with unfiled documents and paperwork? You’re certainly not alone. With the amount of paper documents we’re given by our employers, our billing agencies, and the government, it’s hard to know what to keep and what to send to a confidential paper shredding service. Luckily, there are convenient paper shredding options that will allow your secure items to be bulk shredded. Here’s a simple guide to get you started on conquering your paper mountain and recycling waste paper:

Keep forever

  • Birth certificate
  • Adoption papers
  • Social Security cards
  • Passports (until they expire, then renew)
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Titles and deeds to personal property (homes, cars, boats, etc.)
  • Marriage and death certificates
  • Divorce finalization paperwork
  • Tax returns (if you want to be safe)

Shred immediately

  • Sales receipts (unless the product is under warranty or you think you may return it)
  • Paid credit card and utility bills
  • ATM receipts
  • Expired warranties
  • Non-tax related cancelled checks

Tax records
These are tricky, because it’s likely that you won’t need them, but it won’t be pretty if you do. In most cases, the IRS has three years to audit you based on fraudulent tax activity, but that statute can reach up to seven years in some cares. To be on the safe side, wait seven years before shredding cancelled checks, or tax-related receipts.

Pay stubs
Keep your pay stubs for one year so you can match them up when you receive your W-2. After you file that, set them aside for secure document destruction. However, hold onto them if you think you might need them for future tax, warranty, or insurance purposes.

Improvement expense receipts
Keep these until you sell the product you improved. In many cases, this has to do with home improvement. If you made significant renovations to your home, you likely increased its value. Hold onto these documents when your home is being appraised before it hits the market. Improvement-related expenses may also qualify you for a lower tax on your capital gains.

If you have any questions regarding these documents, it’s wise to meet with an accountant.

After going through this guide, it’s likely that you’ll have plenty of items to send to the shredder. Luckily, Green Officeprovides convenient paper shredding options. For secure document shredding in Ocean and Monmouth, contact our Jersey Shore office.

How to Take Care of Paper Clutter Properly

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paper shreddingEvery 12 minutes, and American office worker uses one sheet of paper. That comes to eight sheets every hour, 40 sheets every day, and possibly 160 sheets every week — just from one worker.

Meanwhile, back at home, the average American has more space for paper to live and stay, making it likelier that there is even more clutter to sift through.

If your desk or home is cluttered with papers that you’ve been accumulating, it’s time to sort out and organize what you need to keep or get rid of to send to the paper shredding company. But do you even know what you need and what you don’t? Here’s a guide to help you figure it out:

  • Why does paper build up so quickly? Because it’s so easy to ignore. While it’s convenient to just throw your bills and junk on the dining room table or your desk, the best way to reduce clutter is by looking at and dealing with it immediately.
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  • From party invitations to schedules, to junk and bills, you should develop a system. Filing shelves are easy solutions to desktop chaos and don’t take up as much space as a whole filing cabinet. You could also use dividing tabs in a binder to separate phone bills, insurance bills, cable and utilities, as well as any other important information .
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  • Utility statements, sales receipts, credit card receipts, deposit records and ATM receipts can be thrown away after one month, unless you can claim a home office deduction on your tax return, then you should save all office-related expenses.However, personal and other sensitive information should never be thrown in the trash or recycling bin. Instead, they should be bulk shredded to ensure secure document destruction to prevent the risk of identity theft.
     
    Monthly bank and credit card statements, mortgage statements, and pay stubs can be disposed of after one year. Tax documents, W-2, I-9 and other forms, and year-end statements from the bank or your credit card company should be kept for three years, after the statute of limitation ends, before being sent for paper shredding.
     
    There are some documents that should never be disposed of though. For example, all annual tax returns, receipts for major purchases that you still own, home improvement records and beneficiary designations like wills or trust funds should remain filed away safely.

Paper shredding services provide the best way to environmentally destroy documents and preserve their confidentiality. To dispose of your household and office paper clutter today, contact Green Office today.

Tips for College Students to Prevent Identity Theft

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paper shreddingThe back-to-school season is upon us. Many college students have moved into their dorms and started their classes already. Other than grades, internships, clubs, sports, and social lives, students have another thing to worry about: identity theft.

According to a 2015 report from Javelin Strategy and Research, college students are increasingly becoming victims of identity theft at a rate of five times more than adults.

College students are seemingly perfect victims. They often leave important documents in unlocked dorm rooms, and leave other sensitive information unsecured on their laptops, smartphones, and tablets.

Here are six simple tips to prevent identity theft as a college student:

  1. Secure all of your important documents somewhere secure and out of sight, not in a desk drawer. Fireproof safes are the most secure options. Passports, social security cards, checkbooks and credit card statements should never be lying out in the open. While you’re at it, lock your door behind you when you leave, no matter how trustworthy your dorm-mates seem to be.
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  3. Old credit cards, bank statements, pay stubs, and expired licenses should never simply be thrown away — but that doesn’t mean you need to keep it all, either. Paper shredding is the best way to dispose of unneeded documents. You might think that, in 2016, an overwhelming majority of identities are stolen through online methods, but plenty of thieves are still using old-school methods. Dumpster diving is responsible for 43% of all security breaches, so paper shredding is a wise practice, in order to keep your personal information safe.
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  5. If you have an extremely important piece of mail coming, like loan information, tuition statements, a new credit or debit card, etc., have it sent to your home address rather than your college address, if possible. College mailrooms can be chaotic, and each passing parcel runs the risk of being lost or delivered to the wrong person
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  7. Have strong passwords that lock all of your devices, including your smartphone. Ideally, each password should be different, and should be changed routinely.
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  9. Don’t download apps from unknown online app stores. Limit yourself to the Apple App store or the Google Play store. Some apps obtained through unsecured app providers can be infected with malware that can extract personal information.
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  11. If you ever lose a personal document, like a credit or debit card, call your bank or service provider immediately to report it lost or stolen. They will place a freeze on the account and issue you a new card. If you recover your card after reporting it stolen, you should still shred it and wait for the replacement.

Secure document shredding is hard to ensure on a college campus. If you have documents that need to be securely destroyed, consider hiring a confidential paper shredding company like Green Office. Green Office provides containers for all of your shreddable materials that cannot be opened until time of destruction, ensuring that none of your sensitive materials can get into the wrong hands.

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