How To Prevent Your Mail Being Used In Identity Theft

by Mandy Fain - Date: 2007-04-23 - Word Count: 525 Share This!

One of the methods that criminal get your personal information is through your mail, this can either be through stealing mail out of your mailbox, or from the trash (known as dumpster diving). This personal information can then be used to open accounts in your name, open credit cards in your name and a number of other uses that fall under the scope of identity theft. In this article we examine how you can fight identity theft by protecting your mail from mailbox theft and dumpster diving.

The first way to fight identity theft caused by dumpster diving is to shred all mail that is to be thrown into the trash. Before throwing anything in the trash ensure that it has been properly shredded so as to make any personal details that were on the mail illegible. This applies to any paperwork which you may throw in the trash.

Fight identity theft by electing not to receive credit offers in the mail. These offers can include a large amount of personal information which criminals involved in identity theft would love to get their hands on and which would put you in severe danger. Do not allow them to get hold of this information by stopping it before it starts. Apart from credit offers, also sign out from any other mailing lists that you know have got your personal details.

Where possible elect to have credit card statements and similar bills emailed to you instead of mailed. Although the internet does come with its own set of problems, it is usually safer to have these statements emailed to you and they are often encrypted to help further secure them. You should also have a good anti-virus and anti-spyware program on your computer to assist you in computer security to fight identity theft. By having these statements emailed you can also cut down on paperwork and so reduce the risk of dumpster diving by not printing out your statements unless they are required for tax purposes.

Another useful technique in order to fight identity theft through dumpster diving is to try to keep your bins as close to your home as possible. The closer your bins are to your home the less likely criminals will go through them in this location. If you need to take your bins to the road for collection then do so as late as possible so that there is not a lot of time available for a criminal to look through your trash.

Mail and paperwork is a method often used by criminals in order to get personal information which they can use in identity theft. This may be done through stealing mail directly from your mailbox, or through dumpster diving. In order to fight identity theft and cut down on dumpster diving (or the useful information criminals can obtain from this activity) you should shred all paperwork before it goes in the trash and keep bins as close to your home as possible; also sign out of any mailing lists which your name may be on and try to receive as many of your bills and credit card statements through email as opposed to snail mail.

Related Tags: identity theft statistics, identity theft software, identity theft shopping online

You can also find more information on Identity Theft Statistics. is a comprehensive resource to find how to secure your ID.

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