The truth is, people have been going through each other's trash forever. But over the years, criminals have started to focus on trash for identity theft. Considering this, here is a quick review of last week and a few more tips to help prevent your trash from turning into an identity theft headache.
Take trash with you: The most secure thing to do is to always take receipts home with you and shred them completely before disposal.
You’ve been pre-approved: Avoid the risk and just shred those credit card offers.
Don’t put it out early: The best thing to do is to put your trash can out early in the morning the day it gets picked up.
Cut it up:
When you make a big purchase - say a new TV - you don’t need the whole world to know. But if you put a huge box out for trash or recycling, you're announcing your purchase to any criminal paying attention.
The best thing to do is to cut everything up. Whether it’s a TV, or even a small electronic item, you should cut the cardboard box up into flat pieces. You can disguise what you bought by putting it in a pile with other boxes such as things from the grocery store.
Make it a habit to always shred important documents before putting them in the trash. If you are throwing away something such as a credit card, cut it into multiple pieces.
Then, you can throw away a few pieces in your trash and trash cans at other locations
That way, if a criminal digs through every bit of your trash they won’t have all the pieces of the credit card.
The bottom line is:
Despite our technology-driven world, old-fashioned “dumpster diving” remains a popular method for stealing personal information. Use these tips to avoid becoming a victim.
Source: Jason Hanson & U.S. Department of Justice