As you are organizing and weeding through paperwork, it is important to recognize you can no longer simply toss papers into the trash or recycling without first checking for personal identifying information.
Because of identity theft, it is important that documents containing personal information be shredded.
Examples of documents that should be shredded rather than put in the trash or recycling are:
- Bank information
- Canceled or blank checks
- Credit card offers
- Credit card information
- Financial statements
- Income tax records
- Insurance coverage
- Investment information
- Legal papers
- Medical records
- Personal bills
Personal Information that could be used to commit fraud or theft include but are not limited to, your name, address, account numbers, Social Security number, birthdate, mother’s maiden name,and telephone number.
One thing to consider is if you are listed in your local telephone directory or not. If you are listed in the directory, you name, address and telephone number is available to the entire world. So, then you can shred everything containing your name, address and phone number if you like, but it may not be worth your time.
April is Smart Money Week for some states. For the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area in Iowa, there are a number of free shredding opportunties this month. To see the entire Free Shredding Event calendar, click here.
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