Five Types of Documents to Shred to Prevent Identity Theft
As the world is turning more and more digital, there is less mail delivered, but that doesn’t mean that identity thieves aren’t preying on your documents. Identity thieves are still thriving on your neglected mail. More than 150 billion pieces of mail are delivered by the U.S. Postal Service every year. Much of that mail contains identifiable personal information that can lead to identity theft.
Identity Theft Protection
Here are 5 types of documents you should consider destroying or take into a secure document destruction company for confidential document shredding:
These documents are high on the list for identity thieves, and an identity thief could potentially use anything that comes from a financial institution. While it is important to keep bank statements for reference, it’s recommended that you shred documents that are three years or older. This also includes canceled checks, voided checks, and any online purchase confirmations.
Documents that contain personal data are a gold mine for identity thieves. Anything with your date of birth or social security number can be used against you, so make sure you are keeping track of these and shredding them when necessary. It would be best if you also shredded anything with your full name, address, phone number, or driver’s license number. These types of documents often come from the IRS or DMV. Travel information, including itineraries, flight confirmations, or anything revealing your identity, should be destroyed when no longer used.
Anything with account information can be key for an identity thief. Account numbers, usernames, and passwords are crucial information that can start the process of identity theft. You should shred any mail printed with this information, such as credit card statements, personal property, and real property tax statements, or bills. Also, please pay close attention to documents with your utility accounts, cell phone, and internet bills, and all your property information, whether it be your main house, rental, or vacation properties.
Junk mail can be dangerous. Most people don’t realize it, but junk mail usually has a computer barcode on the front that can sometimes contain personally-identifying information. This includes so-called pre-authorized credit card offers, mail from insurance companies and lenders, and even mail from associations such as the AARP or other membership organizations that may access your personal information. Companies market to certain demographics, often based on your age group, occupation, or purchasing habits. So it would help if you shredded all of your junk mail, including the return envelopes provided with it.
Child and School-Related Mail
Identity thieves don’t discriminate, and they aren’t known for their compassion, so they won’t care if they steal a Social Security number, whether it belongs to a child or an adult. Therefore, the mail you receive concerning your children, their medical records, and school information goes into the shred pile. If you received copies of your children’s birth certificates, shred them. Likewise, any mail containing your authorization for school field trips, school applications, and report cards also go into the shred pile.
Document Shredding Services
Here at American Document Destruction in Reno, we understand the importance of privacy. We handle all types of hard-drive destruction and document shredding services, on and off-site. We strive to provide the utmost customer service and offer routine services convenient to your schedule. Contact us today with any questions or for more information on identity theft protection document shredding services in Reno!
Original Post: https://www.thebalance.com/shred-mail-identity-theft-1947644