While identity theft has always a been a concern, it’s never been a concern more than it is now. With advanced technology being such a huge part of our lives, thieves in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and all over the state of TX need only to obtain a little bit of information to be able to cause a lot of problems for someone. That’s why keeping information safe is so important. While it is a digital world, we can’t forget about the dangers posed by improperly handled physical documents. The information on them could be very valuable, and document shredding is very important. Here are some examples of documents that must be shredded right away and not left lying around.
Bank statements are probably the number one method that thieves use to get information to steal identity. Along with statements, investment information and banking receipts should also be discarded. There is too much information to leave out in the open or vulnerable.
Tax returns hold a lot of personal and confidential information. You should keep them for the required number of years, but then shredded afterwards. They should never be thrown in the trash or the recycling bin. Your tax information, or that of your business, is very susceptible to theft.
Pay stubs hold information about your taxes and banking, and might even have health care information on them as well. You should use the stub to confirm that you’ve been paid the correct amount and everything is correct. After that, make sure to put it through the paper shredding process.
Junk Mail isn’t just annoying. The temptation is to take it out of your mailbox and toss it away immediately. However, you could be opening yourself to danger by doing that. Sometimes junk mail holds pre-approved credit card applications, which thieves can then sign up for in your name. Make sure that any junk mail, whether at home or at your business, is destroyed right away.
Credit Card Statements
Credit card statements hold personal information like your name and address. However, they also hold information about how and where you spend your money. This can be extremely valuable to would-be thieves. If you put your statements through document shredding and find that you need them later, you can always request them again through the credit card company.
Destroying documents isn’t strictly confined to paper shredding. An expired passport is of no use to you, but it can be useful to criminals. Not only can they use the personal information to steal your identity, but they can use the actual passport to create a forgery for illegally moving between countries.
Surprisingly, boarding passes pose a major threat for identity theft. Depending on the airline, they can hold a wealth of personal information, including your date of birth and passport number. Never keep old boarding passes lying around.
While you’ll want to keep certain insurance documents related to claims, there are many that you’ll receive throughout the years that are of no use after the first reading. Make sure to destroy them immediately and request copies if you need them down the road.
Medical records, including lab results and even newsletters, can hold a mountain of private information. Once you’ve gotten what you need from any documents coming from a health care provider, destroy it right away.
Document shredding is an important part of preventing identity theft. Make sure that your personal and business documents are protected.