Ways to Prevent ID Theft

by Andy Lawson - Date: 2007-03-22 - Word Count: 567 Share This!

You can be sure about the safety of your home, by locking up all important documents and valuables. But how would you safeguard your personal identity? What if you knew that the bank documents you threw into the trashcan are being used against you?

It is always good to destroy important documents after they have served their purpose. This may include your credit card numbers or any other kind of personal information that could be used by 'posers'.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. Well over 7 million people had filed identity theft complaints in 2006. Keeping this in mind, certain laws have been enacted. You should destroy completely all documents that contain any kind of personal information. It could be burned, pulverized or shredded. Likewise, if you have a business, and someone else's information has been leaked out because of your negligence, they could sue you.

Identity Theft Laws

According to certain provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act or FACTA, you can view your credit report at least once a year. According to the provisions, there are federal fines of nearly $2,2500.00 and state fines of $1,000 for non-compliance. In the case of any breach in information security, Individuals stand to suffer huge losses. FACTA basically aims to protect organization and consumer privacy, which includes credit information, corporate trade secrets and medical records.

The following are some of the penalties to businesses specified by the National Association for Information Destruction or NAID, a paper-shredding industry trade group:

Civil Liability: Due to your negligence, if important employee information is leaked, you have to pay for the damages. This could result in a payment of nearly $1,000 for statutory damages.

Federal fines: $2,500 for every violation.

State fines: $1,000 for every violation.

Investing in a commercial paper shredder is a lot cheaper than paying fines. Personal shredders are available at $15 to $250, whereas office shredders are priced at $2,000+.

Different Methods Of Theft Prevention

Financial data is not the only kind of information that needs to be secured. The following are also in need of being safeguarded from theft and misuse:

Bank information

Canceled or blank checks


Credit card offers

Employee evaluations

Credit card information

Income tax records

Financial statements

Investment information

Insurance coverage

Medical records

Legal papers

Personal bills

Your garbage can may be full of waste - according to you. But, as they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Too often, people dispose important information in convenient garbage cans, without realizing that this is the best place for thieves to get their hands on valuable information.

It is very important to stop being irresponsible and begin destroying important information thoroughly. Criminals make use of any sloppily discarded information. To be on the safe side, you should use a document shredder or hire a document shredding company. Whether you have information saved on CD's, digital records, key tapes, plastic films, ID cards, microfiche, key tapes or floppy disks, there is a shredder suitable for all the material.

The majority of offices have some sort of paper shredder for destroying documents. There are three common designs to a paper shredder: standard strip cutting, ultra security cutting, and highly effective cross cutting. If your business goes through a lot of paperwork (and who's doesn't?) you may want to consider a professional paper shredding company. They will most often leave you a can to place your documents in and they take care of the rest, while abiding by all security laws.

Related Tags: identity theft, id theft, theft prevention, id theft prevention, id theft law, paper shredding, docu

Andy Lawson and Southland shredding, a California document shredding services company, work to prevent information security issues by providing collection centers and mobile shredding services for the secure document destruction needs of Southern California companies, government offices or individual privacy protection.

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