The Better Business Bureau Suggests Shredding Sensitive Information
The Better Business Bureau recommends shredding things like banking documents, medical bills, pre-approved credit card applications, and any document that contains Social Security numbers, birthdates, PIN numbers and passwords.
More tips to protect your identity:
-Shred statements and applications you get in the mail that you don’t want to keep. These include credit card applications, insurance forms, financial statements, health forms, billing statements from utilities and phone service.
-Cut up expired credit and debit cards. Make sure you cut through the numbers.
-Protect your Social Security number, all account numbers and passwords. Don’t carry these numbers in your wallet. Give out personal identifiers only when absolutely necessary. Beware of unsolicited e-mails and phone calls if someone asks for the numbers.
-Secure personal documents at home. If you have roommates or if you employ outside help or contractors in your home, make sure personal documents are in a safe place and not lying out in plain sight.
-Minimize personal information printed on checks. You don’t need to include your Social Security number, driver’s license or phone number.
-Monitor bank and credit card transactions for unauthorized transactions. Crooks may start with small transactions to see if you notice.
-Pay attention to billing cycles. If bills don’t arrive on time, follow up with your creditors.
-Don’t create obvious passwords. Avoid using your birth date, child’s name or birth date, mother’s maiden name or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
-If you conduct business online, use your own computer. A public computer is less secure.
-Never use email to communicate sensitive personal information. Don’t respond to emails asking to verify your personal information and identifiers. Neither your bank, credit card company, online payment system nor the IRS will call or email asking you for confidential information. They already have it.
Date Posted: April 29, 2014
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