Everyday documents you never knew you should shred

Most people know that you should shred bank statements and personal medical bills to protect your identity. But what about other everyday documents like your resume, funeral programs and your pet’s medical bills? Here are some everyday documents you may have never thought to shred…

Boarding passes

After you return home, it’s time to shred your boarding passes. This small piece of paper has your name, travel plans and a bar code that can reveal your frequent-flier information. Identity thieves can use this to view future travel plans, check-in to flights and even cancel trips.

Prescription labels

Whether it’s stapled to the Rx bag or on the bottle, these labels hold a lot of important personal information. Your name, date of initial dispensing, name and strength of the drug and your pharmacist’s name are all included on the label. Don’t let someone refill your prescriptions or steal your identity with something that can easily be shredded.


All credit card purchases reveal the last digits of your card number and even your signature. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can be used for fraudulent returns and false store credit.

Pet medical papers

Your contact information is listed on veterinary bills which could fall into the wrong hands. In addition, identity thieves can use your pet’s info to gain access to your personal data. According to a Google Apps survey, one of the most popular password choices was a pet’s name. If this is true for you, it may be time to ensure your password is unique difficult to guess.

Free return labels

Whether it’s from your online shopping order or your utility bill, shred free return labels you receive in the mail along with any envelopes with your name and address. Identity thieves can pair this with your social media accounts to easily piece together your identity.


Resumes give crooks your name, phone number, address, email address, employment past and education history all on one convenient piece of paper. Whether it’s a draft or your final interview version, make sure to shred copies of your resume.

Birth announcements

Children are 51% more likely to be victims of identity theft than adults. Announcements typically list the child’s name, birth date, weight, eye color and other personal identifiers. If you aren’t planning to place it in a scrapbook, toss it in the shredder.

Funeral programs

Each year more than 2 million deceased American identities are used to apply for loans, open credit cards or file tax returns. Again, if you aren’t planning to save the program make sure you help protect their identity by shredding it.

Editor’s note: Segments of this article were taken from Reader’s Digest.