Do you know that criminals need very little information to steal your identity? Did you know if someone gets hold of your social security number, they can apply for credit cards, cellular phones, loans, bank accounts, and utility accounts? How would you like to find out that your credit card was charged for $2500 on some online site or you go to check your credit and your score is 560 because you find out you have two maxed out department store cards that you never opened?
One of the easiest ways to gather personal information is to look in the garbage. Garbages hold a plethora of information. If you ever throw away anything with your social security number or an account number, your identity is waiting to be stolen. Also, make sure you tear up your ATM receipts and never keep your pin numbers in your wallet.
It is quite simple to prevent identity theft from happening. Buy a paper shredder and shred all documents that may have information that criminals can use to steal your identity. You can buy a shredder for as low as $20. This inexpensive investment may save you thousands perhaps hundred of thousand of dollars. What items should you shred? Anything that you don’t feel comfortable for anyone to pick up and read, shred it. If it has any account information or social security numbers on it, shred it. Here is a list of documents that people should shred if they have no use for it.
1. Bank information 2. Budgets
3. Canceled or bank checks 4. Credit Card information or offers
5. Medical records 6 . Financial statements
7. Income tax records 8. Insurance coverage
9. Investment information 10.Personal bills
All other important information that you need should be filed away in a locked safe. You also should make sure you only use approved secured sites on the Internet to conduct any on line transactions. Buying a shredder is a great investment that will give you peace of mine that your trash is not being searched by identity thieves when you go to work. There is no worse feeling when a person finds out that someone has stolen their identity and completely wiped their bank account out. It is also a huge headache for people who have had their identity stolen to get their life back. Having to call each creditor or bank to explain what happened is no fun. Taking the right precautions to prevent your identity to be stolen will save you many sleepless nights and the uneasy feeling of being personally violated.