Identity theft is rampant. It seems that everywhere you look, somebody has had their identity stolen. Just recently, I saw a news story on the Orange County news about a pair of individuals that were going around to mailboxes and stealing all of the mail.
Due to all of the incidents of identity theft, you have to protect yourself at all times. There are many things you can do to protect your identity, including, (1) subscribing to a credit card monitoring service (you will get alerts if there has been a change to your credit report); (2) setting purchase limits on your credit cards (this means that you will be personal notified and have to give approval for any purchase over a set amount of dollars); and (3) you can safeguard your personal information. This list is not exhaustive.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to safeguard your information is to shred any mail or document with your personal information on it, before you throw it away. Many people get credit card offers, bank statements, and other pieces of mail that contain large amounts of personal data. People generally look at the piece of mail, and subsequently throw it away. The problem with this is that many identity thieves search through trash cans and steal people’s mail in order to gather enough personal information to steal that person’s identity. Know that it does not take that much information to steal an identity.
By running all of your mail or documents through a cross cut paper shredder (which are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased at any office supply store for around $30-$40) your mail and documents become a mass of confetti that making it near impossible for an identity thief to get information off of these documents.
Protect yourself from the frustration that is identity theft. The best way to do this is by limiting the opportunities an identity thief has to steal your identity. A simple as it may be, shredding your mail and documents through a cross cut paper shredder is a very simple, effective way to accomplish this task.