Hold on or let go: Get a grip on important docs

The wave of paper – bills, receipts from purchases and ATM withdrawals – may have you feeling like you’re drowning in documents. Knowing what to keep and what to throw away will save you a pile of trouble… literally.

Stash safely
Knowing where and how to store documents could keep you from being a victim of identify theft. Check out these options:

  • Fireproof safes or safe deposit boxes are great for keeping sensitive documents secure. Safe deposit boxes are less convenient to access than a personal safe, so use them for items you won’t need frequently.
  • File cabinets, storage boxes, and expandable folders are good places to keep things like bills and statements organized and out of sight.
  • “Paperless” is an even better way to go. Companies and financial institutions allow you to view e-statements online. Download and keep copies of statements on your hard drive or a removable drive for safekeeping. For backup, save your statements in your secure email or cloud storage account.
  • Make sure your passwords are protected.

Take out the trash
Anything that has your name, address, social security number, or any account numbers should be destroyed, rather than just tossed in the garbage. An electric shredder is the easiest way to destroy information. Options include a basic five- or six-sheet shredder, crosscut or high-security shredder that slices documents into smaller pieces. Either version goes a long way in keeping identity thieves at bay.

Also check with your bank or credit union for free, secure shred days in your community. You can also search the N.C. Department of Justice website for a public shred event nearest you.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union
The advice provided is for informational purposes only.