Worried about online theft? Think Paper Shredding…

8:20 am Houston, Paper Shredding, Shredder

Worried about online theft? Think paper shredding

 

Identity theft is an ugly reality these days. It’s something that crosses most people’s minds on a daily basis in a variety of different ways. People question the security of the interactions they have on a daily basis. Is my online banking site secure? Should I access that banking site from the coffee shop using their unsecured network?  Is someone looking over my shoulder as I use my ATM card to withdraw some cash? When I bought that gift for my niece, was that site secure? People worry about safely moving through the world and the precautions we need to take to navigate that world safely change rapidly.

 

But here’s something to think about. All those cyber and computer transactions you worry about every day are NOT the basis for the majority of identity thefts. Online exchanges only about 9 percent of all identity thefts. What is the most common form of identity theft? Stealing paper documents and personal information.

 

So does it pay to be cautious and careful about where you plunk down your credit card information online? Yes. Should you type in your personal banking information using an unsecured network? Probably not the smartest thing for you to do. But the smartest thing you can do to protect yourself from identity theft is to take care of your paper documents. Call a Shredder and Shred them.

 

For a society that is trying to go paperless, there are still an awful lot of papers out there with our personal information on it. Receipts often have your name and credit card information on them. Bank statements have names and numbers that can be used to impersonate you. Your social security number can be found on a variety of different documents. Your children’s social security numbers can be found that way as well. These papers need to be safeguarded.

 

Many people tend to think that keeping papers in a file cabinet in their homes is keeping them safe.  That’s usually the case. But when thieves break into homes these days, they tend to take more than the big screen TV. They tend to take paper documents with personal information on them.

 

This is where a document shredder comes in. Every household should have a document shredder and everyone in that household should shred documents on a regular basis. Many people think it’s enough of a precaution to simply take the unwanted documents, such as junk mail solicitations for credit cards, and rip them in half or into quarters. A thief going the trash will have no trouble piecing that document back together and gathering your personal information. Paper shredding is a necessity these days.

 

Many people, in an effort to go paperless, are taking their documents and scanning them into their computers. When those documents are scanned, they should be shredded and then sent to the paper recycling.  This is the safest means of disposing of documents containing personal information.

 

Does it make sense to worry about online theft and to be cautious about how and where you give out your personal information? Of course. But be smart and safe about how your handle your personal documents as well. Chances are, not shredding those documents could cause you a great deal of trouble later if your identity is stolen.

 

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