Document Shredding: What Documents You Should Keep

Document shredding is a process of destroying paper documents with a paper shredder. As you can guess from its name, a paper shredder is a tool that cuts papers into strips. People, companies and of course governments usually have urge to destroy their paperwork and to save their privacy in that way. If you are worried about privacy and you possess documents that are too sensitive to keep, you can consider document shredding.

For instance, all kind of documents that contain personal information such as bank and credit card details, social security numbers, ATM receipts and other bills, airline tickets, expired visas and passport or credit cards, can be shredded.

What Documents You Should Keep

Unfortunately, there are some types of documents you need to keep for the lifetime. When it comes to these documents, you can forget about document shredding. Such documents are: birth certificates, social security and ID cards, passports, marriage or business licenses, pension documents, mortgage and loan documents, powers of attorney, wills and death certificates. It is highly certain that you will need at least one or two of these documents in a lifetime, and unless you keep them, you will need to wait in the government offices to request a replacement.

For all other documents you can apply document shredding process. But, if you want to save the data of soon-to-be shredded paper, you can keep the document in the electronic form and secure it with a password. PDF creation tools such as PDF Converter Elite can be used to create a password-protected PDF.

How to Digitize Your Documents

To secure a digital form of your document before you turn to document shredding, you just need to follow these steps:


  1. Scan a paper with a scanner
  2. Save the scanned document on a computer
  3. Create a secure PDF from that document


Once you have created a secure PDF you can get rid of its paper alternative. In this way, you will have a safe place on your computer where all your sensitive data will be locked, and maybe one day you will need it. Documents that fall into this category and that can be digitized are bank statements, tax documents, home purchase or sale documents, medical bills and warranty receipts.

As for decisions you need to make, whether to keep the document or to shred it, just ask yourself- how long will it take to get a replacement for that document you want to shred? If it will be time consuming to get a new version of the document, but you are sure you don’t need original paper version, you can choose to digitalize it. In case you have a document that is always required in its original form, then it’s better to keep its physical copy.