What do I need to shred?


Coming towards you, the perfectly clear, bluish-green wave slowly swells as you jump on your surfboard and ride it—shredding the wave all the way out. Startled, you jump up from your office chair, taking the vivid vision away. Dejection sets in as you realize that the only shredding you do today will be in the office…
You know the drill. You know that you’re “supposed” to shred your personal documents, but more often they lay in giant stacks in front of your miniature office shredder while you shudder at the future boredom you must endure to deplete that huge stack of documents.

Though the word “shredding” carries negative connotations for most office people, it elicits the exact opposite feelings for surfers, snowboarders and musicians—they live for the feeling of the wave, the mountain, and the stage. According to online slang dictionary, the verb “to shred” encapsulates a variety of interpretations and definitions. When used in athletic lingo, however, shredding means, “to perform an athletic sport such as surfing, skiing, or skateboarding well.” Or, to state it with more a local flavor, “To tear up the terrain.”

Shredding is mostly used as a synonym for surfing or snowboarding. For example,  “Let’s go shredding!” is a common saying for West Coast surfers and snowboarders. It also refers to playing the guitar “with vigor”—those who have the ability to play the guitar rapidly. Context is king when attempting to understand what shredding really means.

8 Things To Shred Now

  • Old Tax Returns—unless the IRS suspects you of fraud, you are only required to keep your tax returns for 3 years. The most important information in old tax returns is you and your dependents Social Security numbers
  • Bank Statements—obviously ANY paper with your bank account number on it must be either shredded or stored in a secure place. An alternative is to switch to online banking, which is more secure and avoids excess paper.
  • Credit Card Offers—while these don’t include personal information, other people who can gain access to them can easily find out your information, fill out the offer and obtain and charge a credit card with your name on it—all without your knowledge.  Most identify theft in this category occurs within families.
  • Old Photo IDs—your old photo IDs can include information an identify thief may use to verify your account.
  • Pay Stubs—if you don’t shred these you are taking a huge risk. Pay Stubs include information such as your bank accounts and healthcare providers.
  • Convenience Checks—Credit Card companies like to send these out in order to tempt their customers into borrowing against their credit for access to “quick cash.” Convenience checks are basically live loans waiting to be taken advantage of—don’t let these fall into the wrong hands.
  • Canceled Checks—voided checks which include your account and routing number and home address, extremely important information
  • Canceled Credit Cards—included in the magnetic strip is your personal information that is encoded and you also don’t want people to know where you bank.


Document shredding is essential to you and your company’s security. Do what you know is right and don’t compromise on what’s important.

Tarheel Imaging and Microfilming can easily handle all your document shredding chores, so you have time to shred what you really love.  What are you waiting for? Get out there and shred that wave, mountain, or guitar!