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Identity Theft – Be Careful What You Throw Out – Even SHREDDED!

Identity theft is an unfortunate concern that we all must come to terms with. The lengths that some people will go to steal information might surprise you, from pick pocketing all the way to “dumpster diving” (which is exactly what it sounds like.) Luckily there are many things you can do to minimize your risk of becoming a victim.

One of the best ways to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft is to pay attention to your everyday habits; what are you throwing in the trash? Knowing what is okay to go in the recycling bin and what isn’t is a very good place to start when it comes to protecting your identity and your finances.

Some documents worth shredding may surprise you; what may seem like a mundane, ordinary ATM receipt could be a thief’s ticket to your bank accounts and other identifying information. Aside from ATM receipts, other things you should seriously consider shredding include;

  • Used airline tickets and boarding passes
  • Resumes
  • Copies of birth certificate
  • Veterinarian invoices (but make sure to keep some medical record of your pet safe!)
  • Employee records and stubs
  • Expired or redundant legal and insurance documents

There are of course other sensitive documents that you should be keeping, not just to recover identity if it is lost, but for other important legal and financial reasons. Documents you should be storing in safe locations include;

  • Cancelled cheques
  • Credit card statements
  • Receipts (tax or no tax)
  • Investment statements
  • Insurance policies (shred expired policies annually)

Following these guidelines can make a significant improvement to your risk of identity theft.

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