November 12, 2014

‘Shred-It and Forget It’: Good Riddance Day Event Lets Everyone Start the New Year with a Clean Slate

If your New Year’s resolution involves ridding your life of something once and for all, check out the 2014 Good Riddance Day event.

The event is part of the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City. Shred-it is parking one of its mobile shredding trucks in Times Square and inviting people to ceremoniously dispose of their most ‘forgettable memories’ on paper and watch as it’s securely shredded and permanently destroyed.

Shredding a picture of your ex, a copy of a final mortgage payment, or even a hospital bill following a significant health event, is a great way to put that memory behind you and get a fresh start to the new year.

It’s also a good reminder of the importance of securely destroying confidential information when it is no longer needed – in the rest of your life. That’s all about protecting personally identifiable information from identity thieves. 

Identity theft is the unauthorized collection and use of personal information such as Social Security numbers, health numbers, financial accounts, and passwords, usually for criminal purposes. It’s one of the fastest growing crimes today.  

According to Javelin’s latest Identity Fraud Report, in 2013 there were 13.1 million victims of identity fraud. 

Identity Theft Resource Center statistics show over 621 incidents were reported and 77,890,487 records exposed in 2014.

How can consumers protect their private information?   

  • Know who you share information with, says the Federal Trade Commission. Never give credit card numbers and other private information over the phone or on-line, unless you initiated the transaction and know who you are dealing with. Protect your personal identification number at ATMs and when you shop.
  • Know what happens to information you share. If asked for personal information in any transaction, find out how it will be used, why it is needed, and how it will be safeguarded. Don’t provide information unless you’re comfortable with the answers.
  • Maintain security on all electronic devices. Equip computers with security and privacy protection such as digital signatures and data encryption, says the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Install anti-virus software, anti-spyware software and firewalls. Never open files or click on links sent by strangers.
  • Store and dispose of personal information securely. Lock up financial documents at home, and carry just the identification and credit cards that you need. Never put confidential information into the garbage or recycling bin – have it securely shredded when no longer needed.

For a fresh start in 2015, why not enter the Good Riddance Day contest.

Contestants must submit a short description of what they would like to say ‘good riddance’ to this year, by November 24.

Judges from Shred-it, the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment will determine the winner.

The winner will be the official ‘First to Shred’ at Good Riddance Day December 28 in Times Square. The grand prize includes travel and accommodations for two to New York City, and tickets to the official New Year’s Eve 2015 Party in Times Square.

Enter the contest here