Identity theft can happen to anyone. It occurs when someone falsely uses your name and personal information to get a loan, open a credit card, or access your financial account(s). Shredding, the process of reducing documents to small, unreadable pieces, is an easy way to decrease the chances of your personal information being stolen and used for fraudulent activity.
There are many options for shredding including having it done by a professional company. A growing number of communities have document shredding days throughout the year where you can have your documents securely disposed of for little to no cost. Another option is to purchase a compact shredder that is designed for personal use. When shopping for a personal shredder, look for one with crosscutting functionality, which chops the paper down into confetti-size pieces.
Generally, you should shred anything that has a signature, account number, social security number, birth date, or personal identification number (PIN). Shredding can help provide peace of mind by ensuring your personal information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
This article is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.