Identity is a person’s most valuable possession, so it is crucial to protect it from theft. Identity theft is proliferating, so FTC or Federal Trade Commission has put efforts in creating several cheat sheets, so that people can proactively protect themselves.
Advice is offered on –
- Ways to prevent identity theft
- How to recognize your identity is stolen?
- What steps to take if such condition occurs?
Many kinds of identity theft monitoring and security systems are available but some easy steps one can proactively take is to dispose documents with sensitive information properly. Thieves consistently create new ways to grab your identity. Common practice is dumpster diving. The moment your trash hits the pavement, it is fair for anyone to rummage through.
Other potential ways that your personal information can get stolen are –
- Medical benefits fraud
- Social networking sites
- Mailbox raiding
- Child & senor related mails
- Junk mail
Identity thieves are to be regarded as treasure hunters. So, you need to shred documents like –
- Home loan deeds
- Auto titles
- Social security cards
- Marriage certificate
- Death certificate
- Birth certificates
- Credit card statements
- Canceled checks
- Utility bills
- And more
At home, people can make use of automatic small shredder equipment but for office use where the shredding needs is vast it is sensible to call a professional shredding company. Why? For example, the Houston Shredding Services offers off-site and on-site destruction of documents under your supervision. Their employees are drug screened, background tested, uniformed and trained thoroughly to deal confidential details.
Everyday Postal services deliver millions of main amongst which there are many documents that comprise of sensitive personal information. Let’s delve in the mail you will need to shred.
Documents holding financial details
Credit card and bank statement copies need to be kept for only three years. Any other financial documents that is older need to be shredded. Shred void and canceled checks. Online purchase orders containing billing or bank account details need to be destroyed as thieves can possibly use this information.
Documents with personal information
Identity thieves look around for personal information. Your birth date and SSN are vulnerable. Other details to be cautious about are your full name, contact number, address, driver’s license number and even the IRS documents from DMV. Other sensitive information, which needs shredding are employment related correspondence and travel related materials.
Documents with account information
Mail including credit card statements, utility accounts, and internet & mobile bills, tax statements need to be destroyed as identity thieves can try to steal usernames, passwords, and account numbers.
Junk mail can include computer bar codes, which can possibly hold personal identifying information. It can include mail from insurers, pre-authorized credit cards, membership organizations, etc. that can give access to sensitive details.
Be proactive and use shred services to destroy unnecessary documents!