Why Does Identity Theft Happen?

Why Does Identity Theft Happen?

Posted by Admin · on October 24, 2014 · in Paper Shredding News · with Comments Off on Why Does Identity Theft Happen?

Why Does Identity Theft Happen?

Identity theft is continually on the rise, growing to affect millions of people each and every year.  You may at some point find yourself thinking that identity theft is difficult to avoid, but the first step in protecting yourself and your business is knowing what causes identity theft in the first place.

Identity theft occurs when an individual gains access to your personal information.  This could be your credit card number, your social security number, or even your driver’s license.  Having this information fall into the wrong hands can cause major issues for you and your credit report.  Thieves using your personal information can apply for jobs, open credit card accounts, and even apply for loans, all while using your credit card to fund their lifestyle.

How does an identity thief get your information?

The most common cause of identity theft is stolen wallets and purses.  If your wallet or purse is stolen, the thief most likely now has access to your credit card and other banking information.  In the event that your credit card has been stolen, you should report it to your bank immediately.  It is important that you are always aware of where your credit card is at all times, and that you stay on top of your account activity to ensure that there are no suspicious charges listed that you are not aware of.

Phishing is another increasingly common form of identity theft.  Phishing occurs when a thief creates a site similar to one of a financial institution.  This often begins with an email containing a link to their site.  The thief will hope that you believe that it is your bank providing this information.  These sites most frequently ask for your bank account number as well as your personal identification number, at which point they have full access to everything they need.  If you suspect that you have received a phishing email, it is best to err on the side of caution and delete it immediately.  Under some circumstances, you may want to consider reporting the incident to your bank.

A less common, but surprisingly effective form of identity theft is dumpster diving.  Thieves are certainly willing to go through a person’s trash if it means finding the information they are looking for.  What most people don’t realize is that legally, any documents that are thrown into the garbage are considered free to take by anyone if they so desire.  Finances, marketing plans and payment information are the main targets in this case.

How can I prevent identity theft from happening to me?

The answer is quite simple.  Hire a professional document shredding company such as Merlin Shredding to ensure that your sensitive documents are destroyed and irrecoverable by any third parties.

Proper disposal of sensitive business documents is something that every company should be doing.  With a large number of documents being passed throughout your office on a daily basis, it is imperative that they are managed properly.  For example, if you have records that need to be stored for future reference, it should be stored in a secure, lockable filing cabinet where it is safe from unauthorized exposure.

Leaving sensitive documents out in the open in regular recycling bins, adds the risk of someone passing by catching a glimpse unknowingly to you, and using the information to their advantage.  This could cause irreparable damage to your business.  At Merlin Shredding in Edmonton, we can provide your business with secure, lockable containers depending on your collection needs.

For more information about how Merlin Shredding can assist you with your document shredding needs

Contact us online or give us a call at 1-403-340-2401.


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