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Safe and secure, handling your financial documents

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The safety of your financial information is as important as any other element of financial security. Each day we hear more about the breach of personal accounts and identify theft. There are many ways to protect yourself and your financial documents.

One easy technique is to shred those documents that are not needed instead of putting them in the trash. Consider the list of personal papers, bank account and credit card statements and bills that cross your mail each day. Also look at those pre-filled invitations asking your financial business that have your name, address and personal data on an application form. Magazines and catalogs and prescriptions are also convenient sources of personal data. Paper is easy to steal and so make it a routine to shred your own documents.

If you have a large volume of documents to shred, the Security Service Federal Credit Union offers "Shred Days" through the year. It is a convenient way to clean out old financial records in a safe way. SSFCU is headquartered in San Antonio and has 37 locations across Texas.

Two upcoming shred dates and locations in San Antonio are:

1. July 19, 2014 Saturday from 9am to 1pm at the branch location of 7323 US Hwy 90 W

2. Oct. 11, 2-14 Saturday from 9am to 1pm at the branch location of 9253 N. Loop 1604 W. near Bandera Road

Here are a few more tips on protecting your documents:

1. Keep a safe deposit box for valuables and secure documents such as social security cards and birth certificates, car titles, mortgage loans and deeds, etc.

2. Keep an organized desk so you can review bills and credit card statements, then put the information out of sight.

3. Make a copy of the contents of your wallet including all credit cards

4. When you are out of town, place a vacation hold on your mail

5. Monitor your credit report to watch for fraudulent transactions

6. Use online banking and bill paying services and monitor your accounts plus make password changes frequently

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