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Welcome To The Insighter!

Explore the latest happenings at Kirtland FCU and learn about important topics from around the financial world. Here’s your insight!

The Saver’s Guide to Shredding

06/25/2019
Ashleigh, K-Staff

Paper. Paper everywhere.
 
No one wants to keep all the random bits of paper they gather during the day in the form of receipts, forms, and other evidence of daily life. Add that to the barrage of daily mail, including banking statements and junk mail, and you would have quite a mess on your hands.
 
Many of us savers DO save everything for simple lack of knowledge about our other options. The savvy financial mind that you are, you know some of those documents would be damaging in the wrong hands. But what about the papers you think are safe to throw away? Should you shred all your documents? How long should you hold onto other documents?

Turns out, the Federal Trade Commission has a few opinions on the matter, and their advice can help you make sense of all that paper—its importance and (even better!) what do with each piece to keep you and your family safe from fraud and identity theft.
 
Did you know that up to 88% of all identity theft begins with information recovered from the trash or a recycle bin? Following a few simple rules-of-thumb, you can reduce the likelihood you’ll become a victim of identity theft and fraud.

STEP 1:
Get yourself a shredder (or keep an eye out for a free shred event from a local business). Shredders are fairly inexpensive and allow you to quickly destroy important documents.

STEP 2: 
Switch to e-Statements and opt into as many digital bills, payments, and receipts as you can. Contact your individual utility companies and financial institutions to ask about paperless options and autopay. Many stores also offer the option to have your receipt e-mailed to you instead of printed, so take advantage! A thief can’t steal out of your mailbox or trash what is never there to begin with. Leave the pizza coupons for the thieves—your account and financial information can be safely hidden behind a password, out of reach. It’s easy and FREE to sign up for Kirtland FCU e-Statements! 

STEP 3
So, you’ve reduced the amount of paper coming in your mail or collecting in your house. But what of the junk mail, the receipts, the bills, and other documents with personal information on it? Should you keep it, shred it, or toss? Turns out, it could be a combination of these options depending on the specific document, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

And remember, even pieces of unsolicited (junk) mail may have identifying information—particularly pre-screened credit offers. Just to be safe, you should consider shredding these pieces. Practice basic account security—read more here—and sign up for account alerts with Kirtland FCU and any other financial institution with which you have a relationship. Catching unusual activity early is key to limiting losses should your identity be stolen. 

 
Source: Federal Trade Commission (Consumer.ftc.gov)
 
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