Once trash is off your property, it’s legal for anyone to take. Prevent identity theft by making sure these documents aren’t tossed in one piece.
Shred them after you land: Your boarding pass has your name, your travel plans, and a bar code that free websites can decipher. This code often reveals your frequent-flier number, which crooks can use to log in to airline accounts to view upcoming travel plans, check in to flights, and even cancel trips.
Whether stapled to the Rx bag or on the bottle, these labels may list your name, the date of initial dispensing, the name and strength of the drug, and the dispensing pharmacist’s name. Thieves may use this info to refill prescriptions or steal your identity.
Shred all receipts you don’t save. Those from credit card purchases reveal the last digits of your card number and possibly your signature. Crooks can also use receipts for fraudulent returns and benefit from your store credit.
Keep records of major events, and shred the rest. Papers from a vet visit show a pet’s name—which a Google Apps survey of 2,000 people found is the most common password choice.
Shred free return labels you receive in the mail, along with any envelopes with your name and address. Thieves often pair this with what you post on social media (family member names, work history) to piece together your identity. When writing your return address on an envelope, omit your name.
Don’t toss resume copies or drafts without shredding. Resumes hand crooks your name, phone number, address, email address, employment past, and education history in one convenient piece of paper.