Due to the Internet and other technology advancements, Identity theft has risen and the rates increase every year. The increase in Identity Theft has many people researching steps that they can take to prevent it from happening to them. One of the simplest ways to protect your self is to invest in a good paper shredder. Many larger businesses hire a company to come in and shred important documents for them, but the average household can purchase a reasonably priced shredder to use at home.
One common mistake is to only shred legal documents or other obvious identifying information such as bank statements. A little extra precaution goes a long way and it is best to shred any piece of paper that you throw away. For example, if someone goes through your trash and finds a letter that mentions your child’s upcoming birthday and the age that he or she will be, it is easy to figure out the exact date of his or hers birth. Same goes for your birthday. Not only can this information be used to steal your identity, many people use these numbers as access codes for their check cards, online banking systems or keypads for cars, homes and garages. The simplest of information, when it falls into the wrong hands, can give a person admission into gaining more knowledge about you as well as entry into every area of your life.
Another simple step in protecting yourself is to give out your social security numbers, bank account numbers and/or credit card numbers as little as possible. If someone calls you to “update” your account information and claim to already have access to this information about you, the only thing that you should have to tell them in order to identify yourself is the last four digits of any of these things. If you choose to donate to a fundraiser, ask to get a slip sent out in the mail to do so. It is a sad fact that this is a common ploy to gain bank account information and is frequently a scam.
It is better to be safe then sorry. With the benefits of advancement in technology also comes the unscrupulous use of it to take advantage of others. Learn ways to protect yourself today. A little extra effort and time now is better then years of trying to get your identity back is it is stolen.