On the HV Shred blog, we frequently repeat the tips for best practices regarding identity theft and it always feels like a good time for a reminder.
First of all, keep private paperwork under lock and key. At home and at work be mindful to find a safe place for your wallet or purse.
Live the simple life and limit what you carry. Take only the identification, credit, and debit cards you need. Leave your Social Security card at home. Make a copy of your Medicare card and black out all but the last four digits on the copy. Carry the copy with you — unless you are going to use your card at the doctor’s office.
It’s YOUR personal information and it helps to demonstrate to your fiduciaries that you care what happens to it and they should too. Before you share information at your workplace, a business, your child’s school, or a doctor’s office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it, and the consequences of not sharing.
Shred receipts, credit offers, credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks, bank statements, expired charge cards, and similar documents when you don’t need them any longer.
Destroy the labels on prescription bottles before you throw them out. Don’t share your health plan information with anyone who offers free health services or products.
Take outgoing mail to post office collection boxes or the post office. Promptly remove mail that arrives in your mailbox. If you won’t be home for several days, request a hold on your mail.
When you order new checks, don’t have them mailed to your home, unless you have a secure mailbox with a lock.
Consider opting out of pre-screened offers of credit and insurance by mail.
Simplicity will help limit exposure–when the volume of shredding is beyond what your office shredder can handle, consider contacting us at HV Shred. www.hvshred.com. In addition to security, we recycle everything we shred–helping clients go green too!