Every day of your life, you’re throwing unwanted stuff into the trash can. Most of it is genuinely trash—coffee grounds, remnants of meals, empty pet food cans and so forth. Along with that sort of trash, you’re ridding your home of paper clutter such as paid bills, store or ATM receipts, and junk mail. This paper clutter seems so worthless to you, it’s actually hard to imagine that someone might go through your truly nasty real garbage to find it, but the fact is that identity thieves will do just that!

After all, we aren’t talking about just a few dollars that the thief stands to walk away with. On the contrary, a clever thief can wipe out your bank account entirely, or run up more bills in your name than you can ever pay in a lifetime. A few coffee grounds and some smelly old food is no deterrent to a thief who knows there’s a fortune to be gained from your carelessness.

Don’t think it will suffice to tear such documents into a few pieces, either. This presents no challenge at all to a motivated identity thief. The best option for protecting your privacy today is with the use of a residential shredding service. Yes, it’s true that you could purchase an inexpensive shredder for your home. However, these shredders are very loud and you will generally be able to feed them only a few pages at a time. Therefore, unless you plan to shred on a daily basis, you will likely find yourself harboring a “to be shredded” pile. In very little time, the pile will grow to such an extent that you’ll admit you’re never going to sit there and feed it all through your slow, ear-splitting home shredder. You’ll give up and throw your documents in the trash and be right back where you started, minus the cost of a shredder that just didn’t work out. A far better option is to use a qualified residential shredding service.

Naturally you will want to take care to choose the best residential shredding service for your needs. Take some time to talk with a company representative and learn what type of shredding they offer. Will they shred at your location, or must you travel to them? Inquire about whether they are certified by a hird party. Does the shredding service you are considering run background checks on their employees? Obviously, this is vital! It’s also important to determine whether the company can shred anything other than paper. Some companies use equipment that cannot be used for medical x-ray destruction or the destruction of CDs, microfilm, or hard drives which might contain sensitive information. If you need this service, make sure the company you contact is able to assist you.

The damage that could be done to your life by a skilled identity thief is nothing to take lightly. It’s tempting to live in denial and think, “Why would they choose me, of all people?” Instead ask, “Why wouldn’t they?” If your neighbors are scrupulous about shredding private information and you are not, you’re the perfect target. So be responsible. Just as you insure your home and your car against damages, take care to guard your identity against damages with the regular use of a residential shredding service.

It took me years to clear my credit report after falling to Identity Theft, when I heard that the thief was clever enough to create a business under my name and open a merchant account along with a checking account then billed innocent victims for leather jackets then never shipped anything to them causing them to open disputes with the credit card companies. The address he or she used was in the Cape Code so I never received the disputes until a collection company looked me up and sent me the dispute letter in the mail. Now I am very careful about all my old documents and make sure that once they leave my hands, nobody can ready them
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