Generally speaking most people dread that day when it’s time to pay those hefty utility bills that show up each month. Once each bill is sorted out and paid, many of us simply toss away the paperwork in the recycling or trash bin, assuming there is no need to keep anything following payment. This is one of the biggest mistakes one could make, and sadly it is one that you may pay a big price for. Throwing away documents that contain sensitive information provides no protection to you because if any of it is accessed by the wrong person, it may provide enough details for identity theft to take place.
Each of these documents are full of personal details such as your name, address, phone number, credit card number, and of course your bank account numbers. If these papers find their way into the trash, they will be collected with the rest of your garbage and perhaps collected by someone else.
What’s deemed as trash to you, is an Identity thief’s treasure
So what’s the issue with throwing away your paid bills anyways? Surely no one will take the time and effort to go through your garbage in hopes of finding this information, right? Wrong. Don’t under estimate what identity thieves are capable of or what exposing even a tidbit of information can lead to. If a criminal is determined enough they will spend the necessary time to sift through your trash until they find the details they need. The information you thought was irrelevant can give an identity thief enough ammunition to sign up for new credit cards or even empty your bank account.
The alarming reality is that many of those credit card approval letters we often despise getting in the mail are tossed away and later obtained by dumpster divers. If this occurs it’s extremely easy for a criminal to respond to the letter, provide a new address and immediately receive credit under your name; the approval process is especially quick if you already have good credit. Once approval goes through, you can bet they will take full advantage of it, racking up thousands of dollars in debt that you may not notice for months down the road. Bottom line is that if you are carelessly throwing away financial documents rather than securely shredding them, you are providing your trash bins with a gold mine of juicy details a criminal would love to get their hands on!
Protect Yourself from the Risks of Identity Theft with These 3 Tips
- Never dispose of documents that include a Social Security Number, driver’s license number, or bank account number into a public trash bin.
- Always shred documents containing vital information, rather than crumpling paper up and tossing it into an open garbage or recycling bin.
- Carefully shred all old credit and debit cards so that nothing is legible, and ensure you use a reliable and trustworthy shredding company to dispose of your confidential information.
When you allow SAFESHRED to look after your confidential documents, we’ll ensure all material is safely shred and disposed of so you or your company, customers, and employees are always protected.