Are you getting ready to do some spring cleaning? If you are like most of us, you will toss out some papers as spring nears. April also happens to be Records and Information Management month. ID thieves know that we often toss out valuable information during a spring cleaning purge, and they are on the lookout for anything they can grab that will help them steal your identity. Below are a few tips to keep your identity safe while you freshen up your home.
- Invest in a cross cut or confetti cut shredder. For less than $100, you can invest in a wonderful ID theft prevention tool.
- Shred all documents and mail that contain any personal identifying information. This would include all of those pre-approved credit card offers you receive, offers to join AARP or other membership organizations and magazine renewal notices.
- Shred any credit card bills, utility bills, cell phone bills or bank statements you are throwing away.
- Shred any tax related information you are throwing away, even your work sheets or notes.
- If you do not have a shredder, put all of your documents in boxes and contact your local city offices to determine if there is a shred-a-thon coming to your community. Many communities host shred-a-thons in April and again in October.
- Invest in a bank safety deposit box and take all of your valuable paperwork there for safe storage. This would include original birth certificates, social security cards, vehicle titles, title to your home or original mortgage paperwork, loan information, and investment information.
Prepare for next year! Wouldn’t it be great to have a head start on next year’s spring cleaning and reduce your risk of ID theft at the same time? Here are some tips: