One of the areas where youre most at risk for identity theft is in your paper mail. According to the United States Postal Service, more than 100 million pieces of mail are delivered by postal works each day. Typically, this is mail that has identifying personal information that can be used to steal your identity. Merely throwing away your mail can be a costly mistake - identity theft has cost Americans more than $200 billion in the past 5 years. If order to protect yourself, you should shred your mail. This is what you should shred:
Shred Financial Documents
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 - the IRS suggests to keep them for three years. Anything that's older than that should be shredded.
Shred Documents Containing Personal Information
Your personal information is what identity thieves are after. Your date-of-birth and Social Security Number are especially vulnerable so make sure anything that has those numbers on them gets destroyed.
Other information to be wary of: your full name and address, home or work telephone numbers, or drivers' license number.
Shred Documents Containing Account Information
Don't put your identifying account information at risk. Account numbers, user names, and passwords are key information that identity thieves try to capture. Shred any documents that have this information printed on them.
Shred Junk Mail
Junk mail can be dangerous. Most people don’t realize it, but junk mail usually has a computer bar code on the front that can sometimes contain personally identifying information. In addition, potential identity thieves may be able to open up credit card accounts in your name from the information in those "free" credit card offers. Shred all of your junk mail, including the return envelopes provided with it.
Please keep in mind that AccuShred not only services business clients, but residential customers, as well. If you have stock-piled years of personal mail and you don't have the time to sit at your personal shredder (or you've burned out one or two already) do not hesitate to give AccuShred a call at 800-747-3341 or send an email to Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set something up to economically destroy your sensitive information.