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Dangers of Identity Theft From Within the Home

Home is supposed to be our safe space, but identity theft can happen where we hang our hat.

While identity thieves are becoming more sophisticated, methods of stealing personal identification through traditional property crimes are still a concern.  This includes burglary and even theft by those you invite into your home.  Is your home an easy target for identity theft?  It’s a good idea to do a quick check and take these proper precautions to safeguard yourself and your family.

Lock up your personal information.

Consider purchasing a fireproof safe and enough sturdy fireproof locking file cabinets to store documents containing any personal information, such as birth certificates, social security cards, marriage certificates, real estate documents, and other papers that require indefinite retention.  

Don’t forget about tax records, medical records, and bank records.

Permanent records aren’t the only documents that contain sensitive information.  You may have medical files that require at-home storage.  Your old tax records must be retained according to IRS standards, therefore require locked storage to keep peering eyes away.  Bank records, credit card statements, and checkbooks must also be stowed away for safekeeping and out of the hands of thieves.

Junk mail and credit card offers shouldn’t be left in an open trash can.

Just as you shouldn’t toss junk mail and credit card offers for thieves to take at the curb, you don’t want visitors thumbing through junk mail, or worse, taking your pre-approved credit card offers and opening an account in your name.  These are items that should be stored away or kept in a locked storage bin until it’s time to destroy them.

Speaking of destruction….

Documents that contain sensitive information should be shredded by a professional document destruction company for optimal security.  At-home shredders, while convenient, usually shred papers in long strips and dispense of them into an attached receptacle.  The papers are too easy to piece back together.  Mobile shredding trucks, however shred papers into unusable pieces, securing your identity and keeping trash out of landfills through paper recycling.

There are a number of identity theft crimes committed by those the victim knows personally or has invited into their home to perform services.  Don’t be a statistic.  Secure your information and destroy it when necessary.

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