Identity theft can happen to anyone and in many forms. One of the most frequent forms, that is quite prevalent but can be prevented to safeguard your identity is the procurement of sensitive documents from your wastebasket and municipal garbage collection. When you throw away your credit card statements, utility bills or a magazine addressed to you, it is considered to be public property according to the U.S. Supreme Court. Anyone can legally dig through your trash, and search for personal information such as credit card receipts, account numbers, and even social security numbers. Therefore, it is important that you shred all important personal information before tossing it out in order to prevent identity theft. A good shredder will make collecting your data impossible because your name address or any relevant information will be shredded to micron pieces.
List Of Documents You Should Shred
Here is a list of personal documents you should be shredding before throwing out. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to shred anything containing: Your name, your signatures, account numbers, social security numbers, credit card offers, and any legal or medical data such as X-rays or medical reports.
- Your Bank statements.
- Bank ATM receipts
- Old Address labels
- Canceled or voided checks
- Documents containing personal data.
- Credit card bills, carbon copies, summaries and receipts
- Credit scores reports
- Legal documents
- Identification cards
- Pay stubs
- Leases, contracts, and letters containing signatures
- Medical or dental records
- Tax forms
- Luggage tags
- Airplane ticket stubs
- Utility bills
Identity theft is the biggest source of consumer identity fraud. Reported throughout TV and social media, this criminal activity continues to grow in the form of unauthorized access to your bank accounts, credit card, social security number, fraudulent loans in your name, and unauthorized internet purchases. It has been made mandatory by State and Federal laws in many professions, to shred documents with sensitive client information or financial data in order to prevent Identity Theft. Document shredding is becoming more and more a necessity for many businesses and residents.