One of the areas where you’re most at risk for identity theft is in your paper mail. More than 100 million pieces of mail are delivered by the USPS each day; mail that has identifying personal information that can be used to steal your identity. Here’s what you should shred.
Shred Financial DocumentsAnything 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, but only for three years. Anything that’s older than that should be shredded.
Shred Documents Containing Personal InformationYour 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 goes through the shredder. Other information to be wary of: your full name and address, home or work telephone numbers, or driver’s license number.
Shred Documents Containing Account InformationDon'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 MailJunk 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. Shred all of your junk mail, including the return envelopes provided with it.