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  • One Man’s Trash Gives Identity Thieves Cash

    Posted on August 6th, 2008 NewSunSEO No comments

    Did you know that once you wheel your trash bin to the curb, its contents are legally there for the taking? It isn’t household knowledge, but in 1988, the Supreme Court ruled that garbage is public domain. According to the law, once you place that pail or bag at your curb, you are giving up any expectation of privacy to its contents. So a police officer, your nosy neighbor, or an identify thief has every right to rifle through your trash.

    What they do with that trash is an entirely different matter. And what identity thieves do is use your identifying information to commit fraud, which ultimately makes them money. There are so many ways in which an identity thief can commit crimes. Almost any identifying data will do – a birth date, social security number, even a cell phone number is all it takes. In 2006 alone, there were 67,000 victims of identity theft, and the numbers just keep going up.

    The only way to put the brakes on this growing epidemic is to destroy all paperwork with identifying information on it. Luckily, with the availability of affordable shredders and mobile shredding services, this can be easily accomplished. A good cross or confetti cut shredder will handle the job for the average consumer. Any trash with identifying information on it, even something as seemingly innocuous as your name and address should get the shredder treatment. Junk mail should be destroyed as well, as it is often overlooked, yet a pre-approved credit application is an identity thief’s dream come true.

    For consumers who don’t want to go through the time and effort of shredding their own paperwork, or for businesses, a professional shredder service is definitely the way to go. Document destruction services do all the work for you – making the process painless, and they can recycle the shredded documents as well.

    With the widespread availability of affordable shredders and professional shred services, identity theft can be nipped in the bud. So be careful what goes in that trash can… you really never know who might go through it.

  • Identity Theft Through A Lifetime

    Posted on June 23rd, 2008 NewSunSEO No comments

    Identity thieves discriminate to some degree. Anyone — young or old, rich or poor — can be a victim, but fraudsters generally prefer the easiest targets.

    While most Americans are doing more to protect themselves from identity theft, others allow themselves to be more vulnerable. The greatest risk is to the 25- to 34-year-old age group. The good news is that as we get older, we’re less likely to become a victim.

    “What we’re finding is that once somebody gets past the age of 44, the numbers start going down,” says Keith Anderson, a spokesman for the Federal Trade Commission.

    Still, 8.1 million adult Americans last year discovered that ID thieves had breached their personal data and committed one or more crimes against them, according to a February report by Pleasanton, Calif.-based Javelin Strategy & Research.

    Children – In February, the FTC reported about 5 percent of all identity theft complaints involved victims under 18.

    Teens and young adults – Most of the time, parents don’t even think to check their child’s credit report. But by the time the child graduates from high school, it could be too late. To complicate matters, teens and young adults are among the least likely to take steps to prevent identity theft. College students are notorious for leaving doors unlocked, computers unsecured and credit card bills in plain sight of potential thieves — behaviors that invite trouble. If you have roommates, you should always keep paper statements under lock and key. Paper is a risky financial document. Six percent of all ID fraud comes from paper documents.

    Young families – Newlyweds just starting out generally have positive outlooks, believing that the best days are ahead of them. But if their credit card or bank account information were filched somehow, they may face tough times ahead instead. If an ID thief gets a person’s checks or debit card and drains his bank account, he generally has 48 hours to report the fraud. After that brief window, the person’s on the hook for $500. If he doesn’t report fraud within 60 days, his liability is unlimited.

    Seniors – 89 percent of consumers age 50 to 64 said they regularly shred unnecessary documents containing sensitive information. Some 69 percent said they would consider initiating a credit freeze to protect their information. In the 65-plus age category, nearly 79 percent shred documents, and 53 percent would consider initiating a freeze.

    Read the full article here : http://biz.yahoo.com/brn/080527/25449.html?.v=1

  • The Environmental Benefits of Shredding Paper

    Posted on June 13th, 2008 NewSunSEO No comments

    Shredding paper is not only a safe and secure way of preventing valuable information from getting into the hands of the wrong people. It is also a great way to contribute to helping the environment.

    Shredding companies will recycle whatever paper they’ve shredded, allowing your garbage to be used again instead of wasting space in a landfill. Also, by recycling the shredded paper, you help prevent the destruction of more virgin forest normally used to produce more, non-eco-friendly paper.

    And if you don’t use a shredding company, shredded paper can still be put to better use than un-shredded paper. Enough shredded paper can be used as a substitute for Styrofoam peanuts when packing products. Not only is this cost-effective, but the shredded paper is less harmful to the environment than the Styrofoam. Shredded paper can also be composted rather than thrown into a landfill. Composting helps break the paper down naturally.  And, of course, you can always still recycle the paper yourself.

    By shredding paper instead of throwing it out, you open up numerous environmentally healthy alternatives to disposing of it rather than simply throwing it in the dumpster.