Shredding Helps Against Identity Theft
Identity theft has run rampant in the past few years as criminals across the globe adjust their tactics to fit the behaviors of modern consumers (and their accompanying technology). If you're looking for the exact identity theft definition though, it may be broader than you realize. Identity theft is anytime someone uses your information — even if it's just your home address or name — for their own gain. If you want the answer to the question "Identity Theft, what to do?", consider how shredding your documents either onsite or off can reduce your risk of an attack.
What Documents to Shred
Most people know better than to leave their social security information in plain view or to throw out their old credit cards without first cutting them up. But what they may not realize is that there are plenty of documents that can give away more information than they realize. Here are just a few documents you may not have considered that need to be shredded whether you're at work or at home:
Any document with your signature
- All receipts
- Third-party vendor data
- Employee information (e.g., resumes, pay stubs, etc.)
- Voided checks
These documents are on top of all the normal financial data, confidential information, and personal details that all need to be run through a shredder as soon as possible after use.
Identity Theft Statistics
The statistics on identity theft may vary according to the source, but their numbers all point to a major problem in America. In 2017, the Javelin Strategy & Resource Center published a report that claimed 16.7 million people were a victim of some type of identity fraud. With 30% of all consumers being exposed in a breach, a total of $16.8 billion was stolen from unsuspecting consumers. Not only did the numbers show a 12% increase from 2016, but it also showed how social security fraud was on the rise over the usual credit card hacks.
Identity theft examples in the report included the opening of new accounts, credit card fraud, and bank fraud. Because new microchip technology makes it more difficult for criminals to duplicate, thieves have moved on to opening up fake bank or utility accounts. The amount lost from fake accounts alone has tripled from 2016, accounting for $5.1 billion of the total losses of $16.8 billion.
In addition, the Consumer Sentinel Network published an identity theft report that showed the median amount a consumer had to pay for identity theft was $429. This organization is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, one of the largest consumer watchdogs in America. Of all the complaints reported to the FTC, identity theft was number three. It's a clear sign that people aren't taking enough precautions when it comes to protecting their sensitive data both online and off.
Contacting Louisiana Shred for Shredding Services
Shredding documents can provide the identity theft protection you're looking for by destroying every last bit of your sensitive documents. Thieves will have no choice but to give up their quest when you shred your sensitive information. Whether you need us to come out once a decade or once a week, it's our job to keep your organization as safe as possible from prying eyes. We take our job seriously because identity theft prevention is crucial to keeping our customers from experiencing a breach or a hack. If you want to learn more about how we can help you minimize your odds of identity theft, request a quote online or give us a call today.
Identity Theft what to do?