Tag Archives: documents

Secrets to Keeping Track of Family Records

Managing a family’s affairs requires keeping track of important records and paperwork. The problem with so many papers is that households can end up struggling to find ways to organize the paperwork and find storage solutions for necessary items that are not needed at the particular time. In addition, securing these documents can be a challenge, as most people don’t realize how important it is to protect their personal information. Even the smallest ATM receipt can give identity thieves access to someone’s account, and the typical person might not realize that leaving it on the coffee table could be a big mistake. Managing paperwork takes a little work, but ultimately it is worth the effort of getting organized.

Separate Documents Into Categories

According to Carolyn McKinney from the University of Ohio, households have documents that range from financial paperwork to medical documentation. With a wide array of different papers, a household should always begin the process of organizing by placing paperwork into different categories based on the purpose of the paper. Categories a family might consider filing paperwork under include financial, medical, religious and insurance. Organizing also makes it easier to differentiate between important documents and shredder material.

Break the Categories into 3 Groups

Get a good pad lock to secure important documents in a storage unit

Each category will have certain paperwork currently in action, papers that are necessary to keep for a certain time period and documents that are permanent to the family. Cynthia Ewer on OraganizedHome.com suggests breaking down the paperwork into three separate files under the ABCs of organization. Her suggestion is to divide paperwork into sub-categories for paperwork that is currently in action, basic household files that include routine expenses, and classic files that are a permanent part of family life.

Throw Out Receipts

The traditional advice to maintain receipts for a certain time period relates to Continue reading Secrets to Keeping Track of Family Records

Paper Shredders Will NOT Protect Your Identity

I just read (skimmed) this article from the head of a company called MyBinding. While he offers some useful advice in his article, he implies that purchasing a paper shredder will protect you from Identity Theft.
Is it time to beat this dead horse again?
Okay.
Here’s the deal.
Identity Theft is so easily committed because all of our information is so easily accessible, and also so easy to falsify. (The real issue is that our social security numbers are so valuable, and until we get that changed, Identity Theft will continue to be a problem.)
It’s not that shredding your stuff isn’t a good idea, but to suggest that having a paper shredder will somehow protect you is not only misleading, it’s just wrong.
(Aside: I’m not talking about corporations here. Corporations which have any personal information on customers or employees, and don’t have some sort of shredding plan in place, are just asking for trouble. It’s a lot of information collected in one place, which identity thieves thrive on. Why steal one identity and use it once when you can steal 10,000 identities and resell them over and over again? So companies, whether you’re small, medium, or large, you must put together a plan that encompasses not only shredding, but information security as well.)
On a personal level, however, the only studies I’ve ever seen that suggest that (personal, at-home) shredding reduces Identity Theft, were ultimately financed by people who own or are tied to companies that sell personal paper shredders.
Conflict of interest much?
So, shred if you want. It’s a good idea.
But realistically, it’s not going to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of Identity Theft very much, if at all.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you a paper shredder.

Continue reading Paper Shredders Will NOT Protect Your Identity