With the holidays around the corner, unfortunately this is a time where criminals will attempt to steal your identify. It is important to properly shred your documents to protect against identity theft at all times, but more importantly around the holidays. Here is a quick list list of the 5 types of documents to shred to prevent identity theft. Chesapeak Shredding offers many ways to shred your documents. Call 410-322-8700
1. Documents Containing Financial Information
Anything that comes from a financial institution could potentially be used by an identity thief. Sure, you have to keep copies of bank and credit card statements for record-keeping purposes, but only for three years. Anything older than that you should shred. In addition, shred canceled checks, voided checks, and any online purchase orders that contain your bank account or billing information.
2. Documents Containing Personal Information
Your personal information is what identify thieves are after. Your date of birth, social security numbers, your full name and address including your driver’s license number. This could involve documents from the IRS, MVA or other vehicle registration agencies. Also, travel documents contain personal identifiable information. Shred these types of documents!
3.Documents Containing Account Information
Account numbers, user names and passwords are important pieces of information and thieves are trying to capture them via online and thru paper documents. You should shred any mail printed information such as credit card, personal property, tax bills or other type of bills. This includes utility, cell phone, internet bills for all properties such as rentals and 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 have access to your personal information. Companies market to certain demographics, often based on your age group, occupation, or purchasing habits. So you should shred all of your junk mail, including the return envelopes provided with it.
5.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 in the shred pile. If you received copies of your children’s birth certificates, shred them.