Tips for Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft
Identity theft is a major concern in today’s society. In fact, according to CNBC, one in 10 people have suffered identity theft, and many of these people have faced these challenges more than once. To protect yourself from identity theft, consider these tips.
Destroying Old Hard Drives
If you are like many, you give away or trade in your old computers when it’s time to purchase a new one. You may think that clearing the hard drive is enough to remove all your records. However, this is not the case. In fact, old files can be extracted from your old hard drives even if they are wiped clean. Therefore, if you have any personal files on your hard drive, it should be completely destroyed. Instead of wiping your hard drive clean, consider searching hard drive destruction Boston MA.
Shred or Burn Old Files
Any paperwork that has your personal information on it should be completely ruined. For example, destroy credit card statements, junk mail with credit offers, bank statements and any other financial document. You should keep your taxes for up to seven years, but after that, they should also be destroyed. If you have a way to burn them, such as in a wood-burning stove or outdoor firepit, you can get rid of them completely. However, you should at least shred these documents.
Watch Your Mailbox
Your mailbox makes you especially vulnerable. Criminals can walk up and take your mail, including outgoing bills, credit card offers and other financial paperwork. Therefore, consider requesting digital statements for most of your credit and bank accounts. Avoid mailing any bill from your home address. Instead, take it to the post office or a secured location. You may also rent a post office box where all your financial documents can be sent. Finally, don’t let your mail sit in your mailbox. Pick it up immediately.
You probably understand that you should protect your digital accounts and computers with a great virus software. However, low-tech identity theft can also occur. Therefore, protect yourself by ensuring your digital and non-digital files are protected and disposed of properly.