Security and Safety

3 Document Destruction Hacks

By Brian Kendall 1.24.17

Consider this scenario: You walk out your front door and begin yelling your name, social security number, alarm code, cell phone number, and other personal information at the top of your lungs for all to hear. Sounds ludicrous, right?

While you may not think of it the same way, throwing away bills, credit card statements, and other sensitive documents you wouldn’t want to share with unknown strangers makes you just as vulnerable to identity theft. According to the Texas attorney general, more than 25,000 Texans report being identity theft victims, with countless others unaware they’ve been made a target.

So, how do you discard such documents to keep your identity secure?

Paper shredders are a smart investment, but they aren’t immune to mechanical problems. And though you might have two hands that can do plenty of ripping, there isn’t an effective way to break sensitive documents down to a safe level. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. These three document destruction hacks can save you money and keep your personal info just that — personal.

Office Supplies

Most office supply stores carry identity protection products that take up a lot less space than a bulky document shredder, including these shredding scissors, identity-protecting stamps, and a shredder attachment for your existing office trashcan.

Campfire Material

The next time you build a backyard campfire to enjoy s’mores with the kiddos, make this an opportunity to discard your bills and other sensitive documents. This is actually the most surefire way (see what we did there?) to destroy all documents. Just make sure your county isn’t currently under a burn ban by looking at this map and be sure to take all safety precautions and adhere to local ordinances.

Water and Bleach

Take a large bucket and fill it with the documents and enough water and bleach (use a 10-to-1 water-to-bleach ratio) to completely submerge them. After letting the documents soak for 24 hours, you can then use a paint turbine mixer to break up the unwanted papers. Watch this video for step-by-step instructions on how to do this. 

One of the best ways to secure peace of mind when it comes to your family’s security is through a monitoring service like VerifID. Using your Texas Farm Bureau member benefits, you and your family can receive this line of defense at a discounted rate.

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