Friday, March 19, 2010

More Tips

The two tips that I posted originally are very important. When calling you bank via telephone, they should ask for a pin number. If my mother had a pin number, it would have made it difficult for the crooks. As I mentioned before, the crooks stole the mail from my mom's mailbox. Recent research indicates the majority of identity theft is happening the old-fashion way, with information stolen from wallets, purses, trash, and unlocked mailboxes, not via ‘high-tech’ online cyber methods. This makes me want to point out these major points:

1) Do not leave mail in your mailbox for mail pick-up.
2) Not all secure mailboxes are secure. It is easier to show you a link where you can watch a video. I thought that it would be best to show you how a thief can open up a secure mailbox. I am not promoting the product.mailboss.
3. Shred important information using a cross-cut shredder. One common way thieves perpetuate identity theft is by stealing your personal information through dumpster diving, or sorting through your trash. A cheap paper shredder will simply slice documents into strips that can be pieced back together by enterprising thieves, revealing your personal information.

We have a friend who shredded important information, but the shredder shredded the paper in to long strips. After the incident with his grandma, my oldest son did a talk on identity theft in his speech class. My son shredded a document with our shredder and with our friend's shredder. My son was able to tape the long strips together and so had everything he needed, if he were thief. Now, we also purchased a shredder that claimed to cross-cut (after our good shredder had problems after many years of use), but the paper, although shredded in to smaller strips, it wasn't small enough for us, because the small shredded pieces still had information. I think that you can still test out shredders at some stores, but I guess it all depends on where you live. The main point is that you shouldn't throw out papers with important information. One thing is for sure, my mother made sure that important information was shredded before tossing it in to the trash.

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