Identity Theft and Spring Cleaning

Truly, Spring Cleaning is one of my favorite activities of the year. Actually I try to do some kind of “spring cleaning” in each season or when I just can’t take it anymore. Whether it is the kitchen drawers or my office, there’s always clutter we don’t need and getting rid of it is essential for mental health – or so experts tell us.

However one of the critical steps in this cleaning process is to dispose of sensitive information in a safe way. I recently heard of the activity called “dumpster diving” where thieves around this time of year target key neighborhoods for this purpose and have successfully gotten away with sensitive information they use against unwitting families. Key TIP: Do not throw away personal information in recycling bins!

Whether it is old tax documents, bank statements, paycheck stubs, credit card information and more, all your sensitive paperwork should be shredded or otherwise destroyed.

A few years ago we acquired a shredder from our local Staples and it has quickly become a very busy household machine! Even our 13-year-old is shredding old tests and paperwork with her personal information on it, which makes me happy to see she is actively taking steps to protect her privacy.

And if you are moving, be especially careful about packaging and shipping your information and materials – here’s a useful set of tips from Identity Guard to help you protect yourself in this situation.

And think of your kids. Often times you and they will not find out about any issues until they are grown up and apply for credit. One of the ways we can have peace of mind and keep an eye on our kids’ identities is to subscribe to kID Sure.   We have been using this service for a full year and we get monthly updates of their credit status based on their social security numbers. As soon as our free trial is over, we will continue making the small monthly investment to keep them safe.

This service was provided to me for review at no charge. In addition, I received monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.

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